SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico have western Massachusetts residents wondering what the risk is for them here.
When you think of Massachusetts, you think of snow, cold, and beautiful fall foliage. But earthquakes? The amount we experience here might shock you.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Massachusetts has recorded over 400 “felt” earthquakes since records began in 1668. The most recent one in Western Massachusetts wasn’t one that residents could feel, but it was north of Northampton in November of 2012 with a magnitude 1.9. There was a magnitude 3.3 quake in Westfield in June 2000.
The reason people don’t feel most of the earthquakes that happen here is because they’re just too minor to feel any tremors. You usually won’t feel anything below a magnitude 3. But some locals have in the past.
“It’s weird because you don’t see it all the time out here,” Jesse Castellano said. “I remember one time a couple years back that it did happen, it was like whoa- you know, this, what’s going on? And then you realize wait, was that an earthquake?”
Puerto Rico’s earthquakes have ranged from minor to moderate on the Richter Scale. Most of Massachusetts’ earthquakes range from magnitude 1 to 3, with some almost nearing a magnitude 4.