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Earthquake tremors felt in Picton – severe weather warning

Employees at Shire Hall evacuated the building after reports of the floors trembling. Sue Capon photo

An earthquake has rocked buildings and sent people fleeing into the streets in an area ranging across a large swath of Central Canada, the U.S. and Picton residents felt the earth move for between 30 seconds and one minute at about 1:45 p.m. this afternoon.
Environment Canada confirmed an earthquake hit Ontario just north of Ottawa and managed to rumble areas across the province including Windsor, Toronto, Prince Edward County, Ottawa and Montreal. A 5.5 magnitude reading was downgraded to 5.0 to 5.5.
Dale Miller, of Quinte Home Improvement, Picton said the tremble went through their Lake Street Store.
“The floor and the walls were trembling and the rental equipment on the shelves was shaking,” he said. “One saw cover vibrated for a good, full minute and some of the store’s woodstove pipes were vibrating.”
Miller said the employees and customers left the building for a few moments.
On the other side of town, all employees at Shire Hall on Main Street also left the building.
Karen Kirby, executive assistant to the Mayor, said she felt short, quick, mild tremors but didn’t give them a second thought until seconds later when she felt more defined movement.
“I knew that time that I could feel something going on beneath my chair. I asked the people around me if they felt anything and when they said yes, we moved to leave the building. It wasn’t scary, but it does make you stop and think.”
Kirby is a joint Health and Safety Committee representative and notes it is a precautionary measure to exit the building.
“Every floor has a person who ensures everybody leaves the building and meets in the parking lot. Then Kevin Cournyea, our Health and Safety Officer for the County takes over.”
News had already spread that employees at The Edward Building and at the County’s offices at 72 King Street, also felt tremors.
The Prince Edward County Fire Department was called to Shire Hall and inspected the building. Andy Harrison, of the County’s Building Department made an inspection before the employees were allowed to return to work.
PEC Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Robert Rutter said the department also attended at The ROC on Prince Edward Heights.
He advises County residents “there is nothing to worry about. Everything is fine.”
Facebook reports were posted quickly. One woman said she felt “a rumbling then the signs on the winery were shaking for about 5 secs.”
Another reported “crazy action on Twitter today with this Quake.”
Natural Resources Canada has confirmed a “minor” quake struck the region.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center, the quake measured 5.5 in magnitude. It has since been downgraded to 5.0.
It was centred at a depth of 19.2 kilometres, about 61 kilometres north of Ottawa.

Environment Canada warns of the development of severe thunderstorms this evening throughout Quinte West, Belleville, Tweed, Prince Edward County, Kingston with large hail and damaging winds. Tornado warnings are in place for the Peterborough and Lindsay areas. Tornado watches are listed for the Windsor, Chatman areas.
Environment Canada reports a line of severe thunderstorms from Stoney lake to lake Simcoe is moving southeastward toward the Kingston area and will be there by midnight. Currently, the storms are producing heavy downpours. It is possible that these storms could also produce strong winds near 90 km/h and large hail.
Visit for more information.

Leave a comment about your experience with the rumbles and tremors.

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  1. Rosemary says:

    It felt like a bear was crawling under the porch and heaving up the floor boards.

  2. Experienced the Earthquake at The Headlands, Picton while working in my Studio – Noticed my sprung keyboard tray vibrating and then the doors on the filling cabinet opened. The walls were wobbling gently too and I took a look out of the window where people in Ross Street seemed completely un-moved! Seemed to last 20 – 30 seconds.

  3. Carol says:

    Totally missed it here at my home in Ameliasburgh. Felt absolutely nothing.

  4. Wow I felt it in my office in toronto

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