Small earthquake hits Youngstown


By Karl Henkel


Mahoning County has felt ground motion from other earthquakes before, but until Thursday morning, had never experienced one of its own.

Michael Hansen, coordinator of the Ohio Seismic Network, said a magnitude 2.6 earthquake occurred at 6:53 a.m., its epicenter just east of Salt Springs Road near state Route 193 on the city’s West Side.

It was picked up by the seismograph at Youngstown State University.

Hansen said there were no reports of damage and that people would have felt a sharp jolt.

According to the Mercalli Intensity Scale, earthquakes between magnitudes 2.0 and 3.0 are felt by a few people, especially those on upper floors.

Raymond Beiersdorfer, a professor in the department of geological and environmental sciences at YSU, said he noticed the earthquake.

“It totally surprised me,” he said. “I thought if I would have felt it, it wouldn’t be close — it would have been further away.”

Hansen said the earthquake most likely occurred on an ancient buried fault of basement rocks, which he estimated could be 800 million to 1 billion years old.

Hansen said Ohio has had more than 230 earthquakes.

He said anyone who noticed the earthquake should visit and fill out a form describing what they felt.

Mahoning County offices, which closed for the day after a magnitude 5.5 earthquake in Canada last June, didn’t report any closings Thursday.

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