A 3.8 magnitude earthquake shook the area surrounding Buffalo, N.Y., the state’s second most populous city, early Monday morning. Preliminary data from the National Geological Survey (USGS) indicated that the earthquake struck around 6:15 a.m. about 1.24 miles east-northeast of West Seneca, a town located in Erie County.
The quake was felt in a radius of at least 30 miles, even reaching Niagara Falls. Thousands of people reported feeling the earthquake, according to the USGS.
Good morning Buffalo! More on this morning's M3.8 earthquake here: https://t.co/sUG6XYtNbM . Please let us know what you felt here: https://t.co/iHchlitj87 #WestSeneca #NY pic.twitter.com/wNiTJp8N6N
— USGS (@USGS) February 6, 2023
The tremor was also felt in Canada, where it had a magnitude of 4.2, and was felt in southern Ontario.
No damage or injuries
New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s office noted on Twitter that no damage or injuries had been reported:
The Buffalo area experienced an earthquake this morning. No damage has been reported at this time. My team is in touch with local officials and we will provide any support needed. https://t.co/hGqus9mfck
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) February 6, 2023
Mark Poloncarz, Erie County executive, also noted that he received reports that there is no damage to the town. He noted, however that he had felt "like a car hit my house in Buffalo. I jumped out of bed."
Just off the phone with @ErieCountyESU Dep. Commissioner Butcher who confirmed quake was felt as far north as Niagara Falls and south to Orchard Park from initial reports. It felt like a car hit my house in Buffalo. I jumped out of bed. https://t.co/6viSAUQ4us
— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) February 6, 2023
Strongest earthquake in New York since 1999
Earthquakes in the northeastern part of the country are commonplace, "but rarely are they felt so strongly." National Earthquake Information Center seismologist Yaareb Altaweel told NBC News that it was the strongest earthquake felt in the region in a long time:
On a scale of earthquakes, 3.8 isn’t that big. But the crust in that region is old crust. It’s old and cold and the efficiency of transferring the seismic waves versus sedimentary areas — that’s why people can feel it more.
24 earthquakes with a magnitude greater than 2.5 have been recorded in the West Seneca area since 1983. However, Altaweel commented that on the Richter scale this is the largest recorded since 1999, when there was one of equal magnitude (3.8) in western New York.