Small earthquake shakes Buffalo, western New York

Families enjoy sledding, taking advantage of two days of lake-effect snow at Delaware Park in Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. Just south of Buffalo, towns are still working to clear the snowy aftermath of the lake-effect storm, but in parts of the city, normalcy is beginning to return. (Libby March/The Buffalo News via AP)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A small earthquake rumbled through western New York Monday, jolting people awake but apparently causing no significant damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey preliminarily reported a 3.8 earthquake centered east of Buffalo in the suburb of West Seneca at about 6:15 a.m. Seismologist Yaareb Altaweel said it was the region’s strongest quake in at least 40 years.

The strong shaking lasted a few seconds, sending residents unaccustomed to quakes first to their windows and then to social media in search of an explanation.

“It felt like a car hit my house in Buffalo. I jumped out of bed,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said in a tweet. He said county emergency services officials confirmed the earthquake was felt in at least a 30-mile radius, including in Niagara Falls, about 20 miles north of Buffalo.

Earthquake Canada, which measured a 4.2 magnitude event, reported it was felt slightly in southern Ontario.

Small earthquakes are not unusual in upstate New York but are rarely felt as strongly. The earthquake comes on the heels of two record-breaking weather events in the region: a snowstorm that dropped as much as 7 feet of snow in November and a blizzard in December that is blamed for 47 deaths.

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