Strongest earthquake in decades strikes western New York

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A small earthquake struck western New York early Monday, alarming people in a region unaccustomed to such tremors but apparently causing no significant damage.

The US Geological Survey preliminary reported a 3.8 earthquake centered east of Buffalo, in the suburb of West Seneca, around 6:15 AM. earthquake that occurred in November 1999.

The tremor lasted a few seconds, sending neighbors first to their windows and then to social media for an explanation.

“I felt like a car hit my house in Buffalo. I jumped out of bed,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted. County emergency services officials confirmed the quake was felt within a radius of at least 30 miles, including in Niagara Falls, about 20 miles north of Buffalo, he said.

The Canada earthquake, which measured a magnitude 4.2 event, was reported to be felt lightly in southern Ontario.

City and county crews spent part of the day inspecting bridges and highways in New York and found no immediate damage, authorities said.

“Fortunately, we also have no earthquake-related injuries, and I pray that is the case,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said in a statement.

Small earthquakes are not unusual in upstate New York, but they are rarely felt this strongly. The quake offered a reminder, Brown said, that the region lies on a significant fault line known as the Clarendon-Linden fault system.

The quake comes on the heels of two unprecedented weather events in the region: a blizzard that dropped up to 7 feet of snow in November and a December blizzard that is blamed for 47 deaths.

The quake occurred hours after a powerful quake killed hundreds in Turkey and Syria. A USGS spokesperson said there is no connection between the two events.

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