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Earthquake Ohio: Tremor Measuring 3.5 Shakes Southeastern Region

By Michael Mullins   |   Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 06:57 AM

An earthquake registering 3.5 struck Ohio's southeastern region on Wednesday afternoon but did no major damage, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Being described as a "light" tremor, the 3.5-magnitude earthquake's epicenter occurred at 1 p.m. approximately five miles underground and two miles southeast of the town of Nelsonville in Athens County, OH, the Associated Press reported.

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According to U.S. Geological Survey Geophysicist John Bellini, a quake would have to reach a magnitude of 4.5 or greater in order for it to cause significant property damage. In this case, Bellini described Wednesday's Ohio as "light" to the AP, and said it caused unstable items to fall from desks or shelves, but likely not much more.

One local senior citizen who experienced the earthquake initially believed his home was struck by a car.

"At first, I thought a car hit the house. I thought the thing was going to come down," 71-year-old Carl Corvin told the Columbus Dispatch. "It was one big jolt."

Students at Ohio University reportedly felt the tremors, as the campus is close to Athens, but no damage was reported.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that following the earthquake, a student at Ohio University tweeted to the school's vice president of student affairs, Ryan Lombardi, asking if this meant students were permitted to leave their classrooms.

Lombardi replied, "This is funny. Really. But no. Good try though :)."

According to the Ohio Division of Natural Resources’ geological survey, Wednesday's Ohio earthquake was the most powerful since December of 2011, when a 4.0 magnitude quake struck Youngstown.

As for Athens County, the last quake it experienced that was more powerful than yesterday's tremor was a 3.8-magnitude earthquake back in 1886.

Minor earthquakes are not a rare occurrence in Ohio though most come and go without being felt, such as a 2.0 magnitude tremor that occurred in Pickaway County on Oct. 21.

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