Buildings were evacuated and people were shaken from sleep on Friday morning after an earthquake struck near the nation’s capital.
Earthquakes Canada reports a 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit near Shawville, Quebec – about an hour‘s drive from Ottawa – shortly after 9:45 a.m.
The agency also reports a 4.2 magnitude aftershock struck less than 10 minutes later.
It might not have been a big quake, but it sure felt like it to David Reid, mayor of Arnprior, Ont., a town located across the Ottawa River, approximately 21 kilometres from the epicentre.
He says he felt like he was standing “right over top” of the quake as it rumbled the ground under his feet for about 15 to 20 seconds.
“All of a sudden the earthquake hit and I must say, it felt like I was standing right over top of it,” Reid told CTV Ottawa on Friday. “This, to me, was the strongest I’ve felt.”
Kevin Newman, host of CTV’s Question Period, said he felt the floor of his office overlooking Parliament Hill ripple under his feet.
“We felt it here,” he told CTV News Channel on Friday. “These are quite common here in Ottawa. There was a little bit of a rippling of the floor underneath your feet as it went by. And you sort of go, ‘Did the cement ground just move?’ And, in fact, it had.”
Before the quake had even been confirmed, Twitter erupted with reports of shaking and building evacuations.
@MeghanFurmanCTV tweeted: “Tremors felt in Kitchener. Regional building evacuated. #earthquake”
@KeeganAtors tweeted: “felt the earthquake in Ottawa too ! Shook my entire apartment building ! #scary” tweeted
Several people said they were shaken awake by the rumbling.
@_jessgouveia tweeted: “That earthquake actually woke me up…
@jaclyntess tweeted: “Nothing like getting shook awake by a casual earthquake”
The quake was felt as far away as Toronto.
The last major quake in the region – measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale – hit less than three years ago on June 23, 2010. That quake’s epicentre was near Buckingham, Que., about 56 km north of Ottawa.