Are earthquakes common in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts News

BLISS CORNER, Mass. (WWLP) – At 9:10 a.m. on Sunday, an earthquake struck southern New England. Rumbles and shakes were felt as far as western Massachusetts. The magnitude 3.6 earthquake happened on the state line between Massachusetts and Rhode Island, centered near Bliss Corner, Massachusetts. 

Small earthquakes are not quite rare in New England, but one of this magnitude are not common. Since 1975, the instances of recorded quakes over 3.0 in the region have reached double digits, with the last 3.6 in 2003 and a 3.7 in 1994.

An earthquake usually has to be at least a magnitude 5.0 to cause widespread, significant damage. In modern history, we have not had any New England earthquakes that caused widespread significant damage. However, in 1755 an earthquake off the coast of Massachusetts, about 50 miles northeast of Boston near Cape Ann, damaged hundreds of buildings in Boston. Estimated around at a magnitude of 6.0 to 6.3, the massive earthquake was felt in Nova Scotia and the Carolinas.

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