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Minor earthquake rattles portions of southeastern CT

USGS

A small earthquake rattled portions of southeastern Connecticut Thursday morning, shaking buildings and causing loud booms.

The 1.8-magnitude earthquake was centered around Ledyard and reported at 8:20 a.m, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

“The Town Hall, Police Department and Emergency Management teams are aware of the incidents that occurred in the Mystic/Old Mystic area consisting of loud booms and shaking of buildings,” the town of Stonington wrote on its Facebook page.

There were no immediate reports of injuries from Thursday’s quake.

Earlier this month, a tiny earthquake also shook the central Connecticut town of East Hampton.

Earthquakes are generally rare in New England, but small quakes and infrequent larger ones have rattled the land since colonial times, according to the USGS.

“Moderately damaging earthquakes strike somewhere in the region every few decades, and smaller earthquakes are felt roughly twice a year,” the agency says.

Robert Thorson, an earth sciences professor at the University of Connecticut, said booms, rumblings and rattling have been recorded for centuries in the East Hampton area, including the nearby village of Moodus. A larger earthquake, recorded on May 16, 1791, knocked down stone walls and chimneys.

In fact, Moodus is short for “Machimoodus” or “Mackimoodus,” which means “place of bad noises” in the Algonquian dialects once spoken in the area. A local high school has even nicknamed their teams “The Noises” in honor of that history.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.