3.7 magnitude earthquake hits area northwest of Hampton

Earthquakes Canada has confirmed a preliminary 3.7 magnitude earthquake hit an area 17 kilometres northwest of Hampton in southern New Brunswick this morning.

Nick Ackerley, an Earthquakes Canada seismologist, said the earthquake happened at 9:49 a.m. AT “approximately 17 kilometres west-northwest of Hampton and 35 kilometres north of Saint John.

The earthquake was an “intraplate earthquake,” a type that happened inside the tectonic plate, as opposed to an interplate earthquake, which occurs in areas at the edge of a tectonic plate.

“The causes include things like long-dormant faults from previous mountain-building episodes, and glacial rebound,” Ackerley said.

“This part of Canada was under glaciers until about 10,000 years ago, and when the weight of the ice was lifted off, the Earth is slowing springing back, and that causes stress in the crust of the Earth.”

The government of New Brunswick tweeted officials are aware and are monitoring the earthquake.

Zac Kurylyk of Grand Bay-Westfield was sitting in his home office when he heard a “loud noise and the house started shaking.”

“I heard all the pots and pans fall out of the cupboard in the kitchen, and I went out in the living room and my wife was there with the kids, wondering what was going on too — and we thought, ‘Something bad is going down.”

The shaking lasted between five and 10 seconds — enough for residents to run out of their houses to see what was happening.

“I thought at first that the foundation had imploded or something horrible, or that my firewood fell over the in basement  — a very redneck New Brunswick reaction to have … or that they were blasting at the pit across the street,” Kurylyk said.

A 3.7 magnitude earthquake “could be widely felt,” according to Ackerley, depending on the depth at which it occurred.

That being said, a 3.7 magnitude is still considered to be a minor earthquake and unlikely to cause damage.

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