An earthquake with a 5.0 magnitude gave folks a scare Wednesday when it shattered glass and rattled furnishings. Frightened people scurried into the streets when the quake struck around 1:40 p.m. and lasted for approximately thirty seconds. Ottawa was hit the hardest, but Toronto residents felt some strong tremors along with the majority of southern Ontario. Initial reports listed the magnitude at 5.5 but it was later changed to a 5.0.
The epicenter of the earthquake was about 18 kilometers below the surface and 45 kilometers north of Gatineau, Quebec. Tremors were felt in the U.S. by people in New York, Illinois, Vermont, and Michigan. No significant damage was reported in the Toronto area. In Quebec, a small bridge was reported damaged.
A church and a restaurant were reported damaged in Gracefield, which is located about 40 kilometers north of the earthquake’s epicenter. In comparison, the Haiti earthquake in January that killed more than 200,000 people was 100 times stronger than Wednesday’s Toronto quake. More damage was experienced in Haiti, also, because of the poor methods of construction used in structures and dwellings. Merchants did not miss the chance to make a buck, though; within hours after the quake, memorabilia was already on the internet for people wanting to purchase buttons or T-shirts with the phrase, “I survived the Toronto 2010 earthquake.”