Local NewsHome News Local News Shakin' all over — 5.0 quake rocks Niagara Shakin' all over — 5.0 quake rocks Niagara
Posted By ALLAN BENNER AND JOHN VESSOYAN/Tribune Staff
Updated 6 hours ago
Workers inside 76 Division St. evacuated their building on Wednesday after they felt the trembling of a 5-0.magnitude earthquake. Welland firefighters responded, with the city's chief building official, to examine the structure. There was no damage and about 10 minutes later, staff went back to work. The trembling was felt across southern Ontario.
WELLAND — Cindy Ellis, who has been through three earthquakes when she was out on the West Coast, was sitting in front of her computer when the earth shook Wednesday.
"It was an interesting minute or so," the Welland woman said.
Ellis was among thousands of people who felt a shake and a rattle in what has been confirmed as an earthquake.
At about 1:41 p.m., a 5.0-magnitude earthquake hit Southern Ontario, Quebec and parts of the U.S. The U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program put the epicentre was Buckingham, Que., just northeast of Ottawa.
Tremors were felt across Niagara.
Chris Primerano from Primo Auto on Rusholme Rd. recalled an earthquake from several years ago, but "never like this one. This one, you could really feel it."
"Over here, the clocks were shaking on the wall, the cars on the hoists were shaking, the guys' tool boxes were noticeably shaking," he said.
"You could feel the floor shaking and everything in the room was kinda moving sort of. It was pretty weird."
Primerano said the watercooler was shaking so much, he feared it would fall over.
"It was shaking pretty good here," he said. "I couldn't believe it."
Over on Harold Ave., Fred Rowan wasn't immediately sure what was happening.
"The whole house was shaking, my wife was really nervous," Rowan said, adding that this was the first time he's felt something like this.
Rowan believes the tremor lasted for only about 30 seconds.
Welland firefighters responded to a call to 76 Division St. after staff evacuated the building when employees the felt the tremors, which can be more intense in taller buildings. A city building inspector found no damages.
Brock University's Schmon Tower was evacuated, but classes were not affected.
On The Tribune's Facebook site, social networkers commented on what they felt.
"A building on 1 St. Paul shook, cleared out all 10 floors as windows rattled and walls rumbled," wrote Walter Sendzik.
Wrote David Janzen: "Thought I was having a dizzy spell in my office chair. Felt like I was gently swaying in my hammock."
A Welland fire department pumper was rolling along East Main St. early Wednesday afternoon, when people ran out of the buildings onto the street as they passed.
"They were telling them there'd been an earthquake," said fire Chief Denys Prevost, adding the tremors weren't strong enough to set off any alarms in Welland.
"My wife told me the china in the cabinet didn't even rattle," he said.
"And as far as we know there was no damage."
Welland's chief building official, Mike Mantesso, said the city is in a lower-risk zone for earthquakes than other areas. But even still, Welland's building codes require some earthquake resistance to be included in designs.
"Buildings are designed to be earthquake resistant, but they're just not designed as much as British Columbia where they're more prone to higher-level earthquakes."
City manager Craig Stirtzinger said city hall received dozens of phone calls from residents after the quake, from people wanting confirmation that it was indeed an earthquake.
He said underground pipes appeared to be undamaged as a result.
"Everything seems to be fine," he said.
In Port Colborne, Mayor Vance Badawey said buildings weren't