Good Evening from chief meteorologist Tony Petrarca
The following is the latest detailed summary on the series (swarm) of minor earthquakes in our area this week. The following statement is provided by MEMA
Since Thursday, January 8th, as many as a dozen minor earthquakes have been detected/recorded by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Weston Observatory in the area of Plainfield, Killingly, and Sterling in eastern Connecticut, with the most recent occurring at 4:39 this morning. The strongest of these, a magnitude 3.3 quake, occurred on Monday, January 12th, and was felt across southern New England, including in multiple areas of Massachusetts. It should be noted that a 3.3 magnitude earthquake is close to the average of the strongest earthquake in New England each year, and that earthquakes under 5.0 magnitude typically do not cause structural damage.
Today, MEMA hosted a conference call with the Weston Observatory. The state emergency management agencies in Connecticut and Vermont, and the Northeast States Emergency Consortium (NESEC) also participated in the call. According to the Weston Observatory, these earthquakes are associated with an earthquake ”swarm”, which is a series or burst of earthquakes in succession. The last earthquake swarm to occur in New England took place in Bar Harbor, Maine in 2006-2007. It is not possible to predict the frequency of future earthquakes in a swarm based on past activity, or the duration of the swarm. Earthquake swarms are not usually followed by a significantly stronger quake, although this possibility cannot be conclusively ruled out and there are instances of swarms being followed by a strong, damaging earthquake.
The Weston Observatory has deployed mobile seismographs to the area to capture more detailed information on local seismic activity and has coordinated with the Connecticut state geologist to conduct data collection. The seismographs will remain in place for at least three weeks.
The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection is continuing to monitor the earthquake activity and will be holding a multi-agency briefing tomorrow morning at its emergency operations center.
MEMA has been in contact with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and has been advised that none of the nuclear power plants in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are reporting operational issues or concerns as a result of the earthquake activity.
This screen capture from the US Geological Survey website shows the approximate locations and magnitude of earthquakes recorded over the past seven days in eastern Connecticut:
Additional information on actions to take before during, and after an earthquake can be found on the MEMA website at:
The Weston Observatory has information on the history of earthquake activity in New England at https://www2.bc.edu/~kafka/Why_Quakes/why_quakes.html
This afternoon, MEMA participated in a conference call with the Weston Observatory, the states of Connecticut and Vermont, and the Northeast States Emergency Consortium.
The State Emergency Operations Center is operating at Level 1 (Steady State Monitoring). MEMA will continue to monitor the situation and will disseminate additional Situational Awareness Statements as necessary.
For additional information and updated forecasts, see www.weather.gov/boston (National Weather Service Taunton) and www.weather.gov/albany (National Weather Service Albany)
For real-time power outage information, by community, county, and provider, see MEMA’s Power Outage Website: http://mema.mapsonline.net/public.html.
Utilize Massachusetts Alerts to receive emergency notifications and information from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service. Massachusetts Alerts is a free app that is available for Android and iPhones. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone, visit: www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp.
For additional information and resources, visit:
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency at www.mass.gov/mema
MEMA’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA
MEMA Twitter: @MassEMA
Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.fema.gov
National Weather Service/Taunton at www.weather.gov/boston
National Weather Service/Albany, NY at www.weather.gov/albany
National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center: http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/
National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/
Northeast River Forecast Center: http://www.weather.gov/nerfc/
Mass211 at www.mass211.org