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Little chance of earthquake locally

Jun 21, 2021 3:13 pm

Wendy Liberatore reports in the Times Union that while the chance of an earthquake locally is low, they happen. In Albany County's Helderberg Escarpment, there have been 92 earthquakes since 1978, 61 between February 2009 and July 2011, with two registering at 3.2 on the magnitude scale. In recent weeks, two earthquakes were recorded with magnitudes of 1.9 and 2.0. “They were all pretty small,” New York State Museum geologist Charles Ver Straeten said. “Most were not noticed.” A 2003 study by the New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation reported that, “Future earthquakes of magnitude 5.2 are likely to occur on average every 100 to 200 years with a 20 to 40 percent probability of occurrence in any 50-year period.” And there is little to help predict when an earthquake might arrive. “There are papers about wild animals, leading up to an earthquake, acting differently,” said Ver Straeten who monitors the museum's seismometer. “There is even a study on toads. Wildlife will act to try to do something to keep them safe.” Locally, it is more likely that an earthquake far away is noticed here. A 2011 quake in Virginia, at 5.8 on the Richter scale, had towers in Albany swaying, and one in China in 2008 sent waves recorded at the museum for more than an hour. Read more about this story in the Times Union.