CLEVELAND– The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said a 4.2 magnitude earthquake felt throughout Northeast Ohio was centered about a half mile off the coast of Eastlake under Lake Erie just before 11 a.m. Monday.
There were no reports of serious damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported the earthquake as a 4.0 magnitude quake centered about 2.5 miles off the coast of Eastlake.
ODNR seismologist Jeff Fox said at least four aftershocks were also recorded ranging from 2.1 to 2.5 magnitude. The earthquake was felt in downtown Cleveland and as far away as Sandusky, the Canton area and parts of Ontario, Fox said.
He said ODNR received more than 2,700 reports from people who felt it.
Dispatchers in Lake County were inundated with hundreds of calls from concerned residents who felt their homes shake.
The quake was measured by a network of seismographs, including one at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
“It’s not that unusual. We get a magnitude four earthquake about every 10 years,” said Dr. David Saja, a geologist with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. “What’s unusual, probably, for this one is the number of people who have felt this one.”
Fox said there have been about 150 earthquakes in the region since the mid-1800s. Dozens of fault lines run under the region.
“There are these breaks all over the place. For some reason, the pressures of the earth are pushing on it and it cracks or moves,” Saja said.
“It’s like taking a pebble and throwing it into a pond, all those ripples coming out from where the pebble enters the water. You have an energy wave propagating out from where the rock cracks and moves, and that energy wave is felt as the earthquake.”
In 1986, an earthquake measuring around magnitude 5.0 that was centered in Lake County caused injuries and damage. That earthquake was nearly 10 times more powerful than the one that hit Monday.