Nova Scotia

A rumble and a boom: Earthquake rattles western Nova Scotia

The 3.1 magnitude quake was felt at 10:32 a.m. on Saturday.

3.1 magnitude quake happened near Mavillette, N.S., Saturday morning

A 3.1 magnitude earthquake was felt off the western coast of Nova Scotia on Saturday morning. (Earthquakes Canada)

A 3.1 magnitude earthquake shook parts of western Nova Scotia on Saturday morning.

Earthquakes Canada reports that the quake occurred just off the coast in the area of Mavillette, N.S., near Meteghan, at 10:32 a.m.

Tina Helprin, who lives in Saulnierville Station, said she was sitting in her rocking chair in the kitchen when the quake happened.

"All of a sudden in the distance we heard like a rumble, like if it was going to be thunder and it rolled for like two or three seconds and then there was a loud boom and then it rolled again. It finished with another rumble of about two or three seconds," she said.

Helprin said the entire house shook and her border collie, Cree, ran up to her, "petrified."

"I just looked at my husband with big eyes and he looked at me right away.… I said, 'That was not thunder.' And he said, 'Nope, it sure wasn't,'" she said.

Felt from Digby to Yarmouth

Earthquakes Canada seismologist Michal Kolaj said the agency had received about 60 reports from residents between Digby and Yarmouth by Sunday morning.

"This earthquake isn't terribly unusual for the region," Kolaj said, adding that quakes are felt in the area every couple of years.

In 2015, a 3.6 magnitude tremor shook the area about 60 kilometres southwest of Digby on Canada Day. In 2016, a 3.0 magnitude quake was centred about 19 kilometres north of Yarmouth.

More recently, according to Earthquakes Canada, a 3.3 magnitude quake occurred 332 kilometres off Louisbourg on Sept. 16, and a 2.5 magnitude quake happened 17 kilometres west of Hammonds Plains on Sept. 5. Those two earthquakes were not felt by residents, the agency says.

Kolaj said there were no reports of damage from the quake on Saturday morning, and none would be expected, given the magnitude.

The seismologist encouraged residents to report their experience of the earthquake to help researchers understand how quakes of different magnitudes are felt.

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About the Author

Frances Willick is a journalist with CBC Nova Scotia. Please contact her with feedback, story ideas or tips at frances.willick@cbc.ca