Earthquake reported in central Pa. Wednesday |

Earthquake reported in central Pa. Wednesday

Megan Tomasic
United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey says the epicenter of a magnitude 3.4 earthquake was about 11 miles southwest of Mifflintown at a depth of nearly 17 miles on Wednesday, June 12, 2019.
Penn State
Map shows earthquakes in and near Pennsylvania from January 1970 to June 2015 reported by the U.S. Geological Survey.

A magnitude 3.4 earthquake hit central Pennsylvania Wednesday, but what residents felt probably seemed more like a truck passing by, officials from the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The earthquake, which rattled parts of Mifflintown in Juniata County around 8:30 p.m., was reportedly felt by residents across the state and into parts of Maryland. It was followed by a short aftershock, the agency reported.

According to USGS, however, what residents felt was between a II and III in intensity, usual intensity ratings for quakes with magnitudes between 3.0 and 3.9.

For people who reported the earthquake feeling closer to a II means it was probably felt by only a few people, particularly those on upper floors of buildings. Those who reported an intensity around a III might have felt it but did not recognize it to be an earthquake, the USGS said.

At that intensity, cars may slightly rock and vibrations are similar to a passing truck — how one York woman described the quake on a National Weather Service tweet about the event.

Other people commented on the post, confirming they both heard and felt the event.

The quake follows an estimated magnitude 4 that hit Monday just northeast of Cleveland in Lake Erie, the Associated Press reported.

Last September, AP said a 1.9 magnitude hit Pennsylvania near Shillington, Berks County, followed by a 1.7 magnitude quake in Mohnton almost two hours later. Officials at the time said earthquakes of magnitudes between 1.0 and 3.0 aren’t typically felt by residents.

The largest recorded earthquake in the state came in September 1998, when a 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit in the area of Pymatuning Lake, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The event caused minor structural damage but significantly effected the local groundwater system.

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake in central Virginia was felt in Pennsylvania in 2011, the agency said, the largest-recorded quake in central and eastern United States since 1944.

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: News | Pennsylvania
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.