3.6 magnitude earthquake hits Amherstburg Ont., felt across Windsor-Essex

An earthquake hit Windsor and Essex County Thursday.

United States Geological Survey is reporting the quake's epicentre was in Amherstburg

A 3.6 magnitude earthquake, with an epicentre in Amherstburg, hit Windsor-Essex on Thursday. (United States Geological Survey)

An earthquake hit Windsor and Essex County Thursday.

The United States Geological Survey is reporting the 3.6 magnitude quake's epicentre was in Amherstburg, Ont.

"Magnitude 3.6 is not that big of an earthquake, however in this part of the country where we don't really see earthquakes all that often, any size of earthquake is going to be intense," said Jessica Turner, geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

This map shows the perceived shaking across Windsor-Essex. (United States Geological Survey)

Turner said the quake happened on the border of Ontario and Michigan. 

"We don't know which fault it was on, even if there was a fault," said Turner, adding that it is unclear if there are fault lines in this area. 

There may or may not be aftershocks, said Turner. 

"So it's kind of hard to say if there will be aftershocks, if there will be they're normally smaller in size and so, if you felt this one, prepare yourselves to feel another one," said Turner. 

CBC's Chris Ensing in Amherstburg:

The Chemello family in Amherstburg live right near the epicentre of the quake. Dave Chemello said the family just moved in January. They're in the process of renovating the home. 

"I thought my wife did something bad — or the builder," said Dave. 

"It threw me off," said Dario Chemello.

"I ran outside, I thought something came down, just that rumbling sound. I've never felt anything like that before."

The Chemello family, from left to right, Cynthia, Chiara, Dave, Matthew and Dario, were at home in Amherstburg when the quake happened. They live right near the epicentre. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

Jerry Bagac was at the Tim Hortons in Amherstburg when it happened. 

"It just shook the windows of the building and we just heard a big bang and then the ground started shaking," he said.

OPP say there is no risk to public safety at this time. 

Windsor Fire dispatch said that chiefs across the county are aware of the quake, and so far no damage has been reported.

'No risk' at Fermi Nuclear Plant

Officials in Amherstburg say that no damage has been reported, and they have been in contact with the Fermi Nuclear Plant in Michigan.

"It is confirmed that Fermi has been shut down since the last weekend and is at no risk of damage from the earthquake," a press release from the municipality stated. 

Minor quake happened in 2017

A small earthquake was detected near Leamington, Ont. in May of 2017.

The magnitude 2.2 quake was recorded about 16 kilometres north east of Leamington near Wheatley Road and Essex Road 8.

The geological survey website indicates the quake was five kilometres below the surface and considered to be minor.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?