Editor’s Note: The full press conference regarding the earthquake will be uploaded on this article shortly.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A 3.8 magnitude earthquake rocked West Seneca early Monday morning, the United States Geological Survey announced.
According to a report from USGS, the earthquake occurred at 6:15 a.m. east of Downtown Buffalo. The USGS says that this is the fourth-strongest recorded earthquake in Western New York.
Dr. Michael Bruneau, an earthquake engineer from the University of Buffalo, said that earthquakes in Western New York are not uncommon.
“A small earthquake like this is not likely to produce damage,” said Dr. Bruneau. “Unless you find some very distressed structures that are already from the beginning at risk.”
Dr. Bruneau also added that the earthquake in Buffalo is not connected to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria where over 1,300 people were killed as a result.
He said that, although we must be realistic and that we can’t predict nature with great certainty, there shouldn’t be panic in regard to local earthquakes.
“It’s a statistical range, can anybody come up and proclaim with absolute certainty that nothing has happened anywhere? No, of course not,” he said. “You can tell right now by just looking outside that it’s not like we’re surrounded by damage right now.”
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said in a tweet that he confirmed with Erie County Emergency Services that the earthquake was felt as far north as Niagara Falls and south to Orchard Park.
Many people in the affected area have reported on social media that they felt the earthquake — with some people saying that their houses shook and others saying it felt like an explosion. It’s unknown if there is any damage at this time.
The West Seneca Police Department also confirmed the earthquake in a tweet, saying in part: “Just your usual Buffalo morning earthquake, back to bed.”