Erik Peters / Agence QMI
Credits: Erik Peters/QMI AGENCY
MONTREAL – No major damage or injuries have been reported after a 4.5-magnitude earthquake hit Montreal early Wednesday morning.
It truck at 12:19 a.m. and was centred near the south-shore Montreal suburb of Longueuil, according to Earthquakes Canada.
It lasted just 20 seconds, but caused widespread panic as Montrealers wondered what had happened. .
Laval Police Lt. Michel Gagnon counted 1,063 calls in the 20 minutes after the quake, but they were mostly from worried citizens.
"All our 911 lines were occupied. Some believed it was a train derailment, others a bomb," Gagnon said.
Andree Garand, who lives in south shore Saint-Bruno, told QMI Agency that she was watching television in her apartment when she felt the quake.
"I jumped off my couch," she said. "It was as if a truck had hit the wall of the house."
Earthquakes Canada seismologist Allison Bent,said the epicenter was 21 km from Saint-Hyacinthe and 37 km from Montreal.
Hydro-Quebec spokesman Oualu Fodul said only 63 customers were without electricity in the hours that followed the quake. Fodul stressed that these failures were not necessarily related to the earthquake.
According to the U.S. Institute of Geophysics, the earthquake was 3.9 on the Richter scale and the epicenter was 9.9 km deep.
It's the second earthquake to hit the region this month.
Last Thursday, a 3.0-magnitude quake struck near Huntingdon, QC, southwest of Montreal towards the US border.