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Magnitude 3.3 Earthquake Rumbles In Rhode Island

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Scientists at the Weston Observatory say a magnitude 3.3 earthquake struck Plainfield, Connecticut Monday morning, about seven miles from the Rhode...

Scientists at the Weston Observatory say a magnitude 3.3 earthquake struck Plainfield, Connecticut Monday morning, about seven miles from the Rhode Island border.  It was one of five smaller earthquakes in the area.

A seismograph readout from Bryant University from Jan. 13th.

The Eastern Connecticut region is experiencing what’s called a swarm; that’s when several earthquakes hit a small area in a short succession.  Just last week, a 2.0 quake hit the same spot.  Weston Observatory senior scientist John Ebel said the area is likely seeing something referred to as a “swarm.”

"Sometimes we’ll see what we might characterize as a swarm of small earthquakes; where there’ll be several over the course a few days, or a week, or a few weeks, maybe even longer… And this is acting more like a swarm.”  He said these are milder earthquakes, and not uncommon to the region.

“The 3.3 on average is about a once a year event somewhere in the region.  There’s nothing that leads me to suggest that anything is eminent, but we never can, of course, rule that out," said Ebel.

He says the earthquakes are most likely caused by pressure between existing fault lines, or some that have yet to be discovered.  “One possibility is that, in fact, these earthquakes are not on an old fault, but in fact it’s possible that they’re the creation of a new brand new crack somewhere in the Earth," said Ebel.

None of the recent activity caused serious damage.  Ebel says earthquakes don’t  get really dangerous until they hit a magnitude 5.

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Magnitude 3.3 Earthquake Rumbles In Rhode Island
Magnitude 3.3 Earthquake Rumbles In Rhode Island