Earthquake confirmed in Madison, Ohio: Watch video of the quake
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Earthquake confirmed in Madison, Ohio: Watch video of the quake

Sep 11, 2023

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MADISON, Ohio — The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has confirmed a 3.6 magnitude earthquake was recorded in Madison late Sunday evening. A 2.3 aftershock occurred later.

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The quake, which was initially reported as a 4.0 magnitude event, happened around 10:43 p.m. according to USGS and is categorized as "light" intensity with a depth of 5 km.

Traces of the earthquake could be felt as all the way from the far eastern parts of Cuyahoga County into the far wester parts of Pennsylvania according to the USGS's "ShakeMap" on their official website.

"All of a sudden you hear rumble, and it was really funny because it actually felt like my floor went boom boom boom across, and you know, the dogs were going nuts," said Gabrielle Crouch, who lives in Madison Township. "Initially I thought, 'did someone hit my house? Did a tree fall in my house?' I'm like, 'Oh, that was an earthquake!'"

“I felt something under my feet, I heard a loud noise and it was kind of simultaneous, the mirrors on my walls started shaking and so did I," said Emily Coach, a Madison Township resident who was heading to bed Sunday night when she felt the earthquake.

While Coach said the moment wasn't necessarily scary, she was certainly confused.

"I kind of thought the foundation of our house was falling - I can't even explain it," she said. "But earthquake didn't cross my mind."

That's likely because earthquakes of this magnitude aren't frequent in Northeast Ohio, according to Steven Hauck, a professor and chair of the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Science at Case Western Reserve University.

"Here in Northeast Ohio, I was just looking at the data from the state, and it looks like there’ve been about 10 earthquakes in Lake and Ashtabula County that are about this size or larger recorded in history," he said. "So it’s not that frequent."

However, Hauck said that there have been a number of earthquakes in recent days in Northeast Ohio. Last Thursday, he said there was a 2.3 magnitude earthquake in the same area of Lake County. That was followed by the earthquake Sunday night, which had a 2.3 aftershock shortly after, in addition to another earthquake a bit farther away, which was a 1.9 magnitude according to Hauck, referencing the Ohio DNR.

Hauck explained most earthquakes happen in places that are near tectonic plate boundaries. For example, he said in Southern California, plates slide past each other, leading to frequent earthquakes. However, that is not the case for Northeast Ohio.

Hauck said that the reason why we don't see as many earthquakes in this area is "not well understood," in part, he said, because of the infrequency of earthquakes, and therefore data surrounding them.

"We are in what you would call an intra plate region, so we’re inside one of the tectonic plates. So these areas have far fewer quakes," he said. "The reasons for them are different. Here in Northeast, we’re near where there once was probably a collision from other plates deep in the Earth’s past, so there are buried faults. These faults aren’t necessarily ones that move much, but they were active tens or hundreds of millions of years ago. And so, when there is slight movement accumulated over time, occasionally they will move as an earthquake."

Matt Bruning of ODOT shared a video early Monday morning that captured the moment the earthquake hit.

"A little shaking going on Sunday night in NE Ohio," Bruning wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

You can watch that video below.

A little shaking going on Sunday night in NE Ohio. Here are a few views of the magnitude 4.0 #earthquake from some of the @ODOT_Statewide traffic cameras at Details about the quake here:

This earthquake comes just a few days after the USGS confirmed a 1.9 quake happened near the same location last Thursday.

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Ohio Quake Report... M 4.0 - 4 km SE of Madison, Ohio for details.

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