Three very small earthquakes have caused a little rumble in Berks County over the last week.
According to information from the US Geological Survey (USGS), the first quake happened back on Nov. 7. Another struck early Friday morning, followed by a third on Friday night.
The strongest of 3 earthquakes happened last night (Nov. 12) 2 kilometers west of Sinking Spring. It registered as a Magnitude 2.1 on the Richter scale.
For reference, the Richter scale is used to measure the magnitude of earthquakes and goes up to 10 (aka “The Big One”). A 2.1 quake is barely a tremor on this scale.
This was the second quake with an epicenter near Sinking Spring. That’s where the first one happened back on the morning of Nov. 7. That initial shock registered a 1.7 on the Richter scale.
A third earthquake in Berks County over the last 7 days happened late Thursday night about 5 kilometers east-southeast of Bernville. That one barely clocked in at 1.5 on the Richter scale.
Earthquakes are extremely rare in Pennsylvania, of course. These are the only 3 earthquakes reported in Pennsylvania over the last year. A 2.1 was reported back on Dec. 3 in Milford, NJ. Another quake, at 2.4 on the scale, was reported in Tuckerton, NJ, on June 9.
3 Small Earthquakes Rumble Berks County in Last 7 Days
Here are some details on the 3 earthquakes that have shaken Berks County in the last week.
Magnitude 2.1 – Sinking Spring, PA – Nov. 12 at 10:47 p.m.
The Magnitude 2.1 earthquake near Sinking Spring is the strongest of the 3 Berks County earthquakes. It struck on Friday night at 10:47 p.m.
According to USGS data, of the 3, it’s the one the most number of people felt. USGS has received 158 “Felt Report” submissions since the quake happened last night.
Here’s the USGS Community Internet Intensity Map showing where this 2.1 quake was felt near its epicenter:
The light blue squares on that map represent people who felt weak or light shaking but experienced no damage as a result of the earthquake.
Here are the coordinates of the exact location of the earthquake: 40.326°N 76.038°W
USGS data shows it was a very shallow earthquake, happening just at the Earth’s surface, just 2.9km in depth. Shallow earthquakes range anywhere from 0-70km, according to the USGS.
Magnitude 1.5 – Bernville, PA – Nov. 12 at 2:06 a.m.
The quake on Friday morning at 2:06 near Bernville was the weakest of the Berks events. Of course, of the 3, it was closest to us here in Schuylkill County.
Here are the exact coordinates of the Bernville quake: 40.411°N 76.055°W.
However, USGS has only gotten 29 Felt It reports. The closest Felt It report to us here from someone who actually claims to have felt the M1.5 earthquake came from Myerstown. And all who did feel this small earthquake barely felt it:
The Bernville earthquake was also very shallow, a depth of just 4.8km.
Magnitude 1.7 – Sinking Spring, PA – Nov. 7 at 1:40 p.m.
The first in the string of 3 earthquakes in Berks County happened back on Nov. 7 at 1:40 p.m.
This was a very minor and shallow quake that almost no one felt. USGS received 34 Felt It reports on this quake. However, a person in Lancaster and a person in Pottstown reported weak or light shaking as a result of the earthquake.
This first earthquake happened at the following coordinates: 40.323°N 76.040°W. It measured a depth of 5km, again, very shallow near the surface.