Magnitude-5.0 earthquake reported in Canada

08:30, June 24, 2010      

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A magnitude-5.0 earthquake struck at the Ontario-Quebec border region of Canada on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said, and homes and businesses were shaken from Canada's capital in Ottawa on south to an array of U.S. states.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Morgan Moschetti, a seismologist with the USGS, said it was not unusual for an earthquake to be felt 480 kilometers from the epicenter and noted that the latest quake was felt in the U.S. from Chicago to Maine. Other states that reported feeling tremors were Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York.

The epicenter of the quake was in Quebec, about 38 kilometers north of Cumberland, Ontario, on the Ottawa River, the USGS said.

The agency said the quake occurred at a depth of about 19 kilometers at 1:45 p.m. EDT. The agency initially said the quake had a 5.5 magnitude, but later reduced it to a magnitude-5.0.

The tremors, which lasted about 30 seconds, rattled buildings in Ottawa and Toronto, as well as government offices across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec.

The Parliament building in Ottawa was evacuated, with workers sent home while the building was inspected. Workers also left buildings in Toronto.

The quake came just ahead of the weekend summit of G-20 and G-8 world leaders in Toronto and Huntsville, Ontario.

Melanie Lauzon, a Liberal member of Parliament, said her first thought was that Ottawa had been hit with "with a very large car bomb," since the quake struck on the eve of the summits.

Conservative Senator Lowell Murray said the massive chandeliers of the upper chamber of Parliament began swaying during a mundane debate on energy issues.

"Initially we thought it might have been an airplane crashing into the building," Murray said. "But we were standing around wondering what was going on. And I quickly realized it was an earthquake. And then everybody started shouting out, out, out."

Residents of a number of states in the Midwest and Northeast reported feeling the earthquake.

In Ohio, people reported the sound of plaster cracking in Cleveland and buildings in Cincinnati gently swaying.

In Cleveland, James Haselden says his office in a renovated 19th century brick building swayed and he heard plastic cracking but saw no damage.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on its website that the Canadian quake was felt by some residents in the western Pennsylvania area.
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(Editor:张心意)

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