Tremors from a magnitude 5 earthquake that hit Canada on Wednesday were felt in Maine.

The Intermed medical office building on Marginal Way in Portland was evacuated around 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, after workers felt the building shake.

“It went on for just a couple of brief seconds,” said Lisa Labbay, Intermed’s director of operations.

The Portland Fire Department checked the building for damage before employees returned to work.

Officials say they heard from people across the state who reported feeling the earthquake. There were no reports of injuries.

The earthquake happened at 1:41 p.m. just northeast of Ottawa. It shook southeastern Canada and several states.

In Maine, the shaking was felt mostly in the western part of the state, said state geologist Robert Marvinney.

He said it’s not unusual for an earthquake of that magnitude to be felt as far away as Maine. He said Wednesday’s quake was felt as far west as Ohio and as far south as New Jersey.

Earthquakes occur regularly along the St. Lawrence River in southern Quebec and Ontario, Marvinney said.

Typically, the region has an earthquake every year with a magnitude of 3 or less, he said, and every five to 10 years the region is rocked as it was on Wednesday.

He said the frequency of the earthquakes relates to the underground faults in the region.

“This area marks the very old margin of the continent. It’s among the oldest rocks on the continent,” Marvinney said.

In Maine, a dispatcher at the Oxford Regional Communication Center said one caller felt shaking from the earthquake.

Maine had an earthquake on June 6 in Clinton. It had a magnitude of less than 1 on the Richter scale, which generally cannot be felt.

The state’s largest earthquake was a 6 magnitude, in Eastport in 1904.

Portland had its last earthquake in 1957, measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale.

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

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