The United States Geologic Society has confirmed a 4.0 earthquake rattled Maine and sections of the Northeastern U.S. at 7:12 pm EST on October 16, 2012. Initial reports indicate no property was damaged and no injuries resulted from the quake though local emergency dispatchers and crews were inundated with numerous calls.
The epicenter of the quake was located around Lake Arrowhead at a depth of 6.7 km (or 4.2 miles) and felt for the duration of 10 seconds within Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and even as far south as Albany, New York. This week's quake follows a 2.8 magnitude quake in Quebec last week which shook up residents as far south as Burlington, Vermont.
The USGS has reported that the Northeastern U.S. and region of New England often have varied levels of earthquakes. Some range from "small...to infrequent larger ones since colonial times." Most smaller quakes in this region are unable to be noticed while others of larger magnitudes are more perceptible. These quakes generally occur twice per year with "moderately damaging earthquakes [striking] somewhere in the region every few decades." Though geologists have dedicated tremendous research in pinpointing the source of earthquakes, their cause is largely unknown. Some speculate that "ancient zones of weakness" along preexisting faults, intraplate crust, present day stress fields and plate boundaries in New England as the source of the minor quakes rattling the region.