OLCOTT, N.Y. (WIVB) - There was a small earthquake in Niagara County overnight. According to the U.S. Geological Service, the quake's epicenter was about four miles east of Olcott. The tremors could be felt as far away as Toronto.
The U.S.G.S. says it was a 2.5 magnitude earthquake. The earthquake happened at 12:34 a.m. Friday, and could be felt all the way to Tonawanda and even Toronto.
Mark Castner, director of the Braun-Ruddick Seismograph Station, explained what happened early Friday, "Several miles below Olcott there was strain, from a variety of causes, where one part of the rock was trying to move relative to the other part, and either it moved down a little bit or it moved sideways a little bit, over a very small patch, because this was an extremely small earthquake. And when it moves it doesn't creep, in a case like this, it snaps. That's what gives you the seismic waves which then emanate up we feel on the surface as an earthquake."
Earth quakes are not a regular occurrence in western New York. The U.S.G.S. says the largest earthquake in region was in 1929, when a 4.9 magnitude quake shook Attica.
Even though the earthquake Friday was small, residents felt the shake and called 911. The quake did not cause any damage or any injuries.
Many Niagara county residents called News 4 and posted on the News 4 Facebook page overnight saying they heard a loud "boom".
Some also reported feeling the quake and that it rattled their windows. Carrie Anne McPhail-Smith posted on Facebook that she, "Felt it in Newfane 130 a.m., felt like the whole house shook."
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