Small earthquake felt, heard all over central Pennsylvania


MIFFLINTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) — The small earthquake that rumbled parts of central Pennsylvania was felt as far north as Williamsport and as far south as Maryland.

The United States Geological Survey received more than 1,500 reports from people who felt shaking or heard a rumbling during Wednesday’s evening’s quake, many of them from Juniata, Perry, and Cumberland counties.

Other reports came from Lancaster, Franklin, and York counties and as far west as Altoona, according to community intensity maps on the agency’s website. The maps are based on “felt” reports to the USGS website.

The USGS said the epicenter of the magnitude 3.4 quake was about 11 miles southwest of Mifflintown, near the village of Honey Grove, at a depth of nearly 17 miles. No damage has been reported.

A quake of that magnitude is rare for our area, but it’s certainly not the first. The strongest local earthquake, recorded in April 1984 and centered in Marticville, in Lancaster County, was a magnitude 4.1

Dr. Michael Meyer, an assistant professor of earth science systems at Harrisburg University, says there are old faults in the area, which are a point of weakness.

It’s unknown what caused the earthquake, but it was fairly deep, so it’s not surprising so many people felt it.

“It has a lot of very solid rock to travel through and so the more connected and sort of cold and hard the rock is, it can travel greater distances,” Meyer said.

Quakes with a magnitude of 2.5 to 5.4 are often felt but cause only minor, if any, damage, according to the USGS website.

If you want to report what you experienced to the USGS, there is a form on the agency’s website.

Online: Report to the USGS

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