1.7 magnitude earthquake shakes southern New HampshireBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
September 21. 2018 10:15PM
NASHUA — A small earthquake hit southern New Hampshire on Friday morning, with rumblings being felt in Nashua, Merrimack, Litchfield and Londonderry.
The Weston Observatory at Boston College recorded a 1.7 magnitude earthquake at 9:54 a.m.
The epicenter was about four miles northeast of the center of Nashua, according to Professor John Ebel, a senior research scientist at the observatory and chairman of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
“This is a reminder that we do live in an area that has had strong and damaging earthquakes in the past, and there is reason to believe it could happen in the future,” said Ebel, who admits that could be 100 years from now or even tomorrow.
Residents in Windham, Amherst and Brookline also felt the earthquake, several of them questioning on social media whether crews were blasting in their neighborhoods.
“I thought it was thunder or a low plane,” wrote Jessica D’Amico of Hollis.
Ebel said earthquakes are typically noticed when they reach about a magnitude 2, but he said a 1.7 magnitude quake may also be felt within proximity of its epicenter.
“New England averages about half a dozen felt earthquakes per year,” said Ebel, who explained that the Weston Observatory at Boston College often records several earthquakes a month from as far north as Maine and south to Pennsylvania and New Jersey, although they are not noticeably felt.
While earthquakes are not uncommon in southern New Hampshire, they are typically more active in the region between Concord and the Lakes Region, he said.
“It is exciting for me because of course we are watching a very slow process play out. Every earthquake is a new datapoint,” said Ebel.
There were no immediate reports of any damage or injuries associated with Friday morning’s earthquake.
As seismic monitoring networks improve and expand, and as software becomes more advanced to detect and record earthquakes, Ebel said there is more data than ever on smaller-scale quakes in the region.
“We are particularly interested in figuring out which faults are active,” he said, adding that will eventually be determined as more earthquakes happen, especially stronger quakes.