Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just an explosion; not an earthquake

Northeast Ohioans are becoming really savvy about their earthquakes.

Ohio Division of Geological Survey geologist Mike Hansen said Thursday that he received more than 20 telephone calls and e-mails from Lake County (mostly from the Mentor area) about the 9:30 p.m., Wednesday explosion that took out an Eastlake house and seriously injured its two owners.

This explosion sounded much like that often heard with an earthquake.

However, says Hansen, an earthquake will cause a different sort of harmonic vibration whereas an explosion rocks and rattles a structure.

Hansen said the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver similarly received electronic inquiries from the Lake County area about the explosion.

What the reporting does suggest, Hansen also says, is that area residents are becoming more in sync with earthquake events, due in no small measure to increased media attention about such happenings.

Hansen added that the last earhquake event to occur in Ohio happened last September.

"I was just thinking how quiet it's been up there," Hansen said.
"But I knew that it was probably an explosion rather than an earthquake because none of our stations picked it up."

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn


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