A magnitude 2.6 earthquake with its epicenter in Dresden rattled windows and made rumbles in northern Lincoln County the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 17.
The earthquake occurred at 6:46 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
“It shook our windows pretty hard,” Dresden resident Katie Stewart said. “Everybody I know felt it.”
Stewart said it shook the house so hard her husband thought their water heater was blowing up.
The epicenter was between Middle Road and Calls Hill Road, near Nequasset Brook, according to a U.S. Geological Survey map.
The earthquake affected a wide area, however, according to Julie Dutton, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey. There were aftershocks at 7:47 p.m. and 7:59 p.m., measuring 1.8 and 1.9 in magnitude.
Whitefield resident Dennis Merrill said, “I heard it, but it was a low rumble in a way. When I heard the noise, I thought it might have been a truck going by.”
Dutton said geologic faults lace the entire region of New England and the East Coast, which makes it difficult to determine which fault or faults caused the episode.
Parts of Alna, Dresden, Newcastle, Whitefield, and Wiscasset would have felt the quake, Dutton said.
The Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency, in a Facebook post, said the quake was felt as far south as Massachusetts.
In comments on the agency’s posts, people reported tremors all over the county – many in the northern part of the county, but some as far away as Boothbay Harbor and Pemaquid Point. Many compared the sound and vibrations to those of a plow truck.
The Lincoln County Emergency Management Agency did not receive any reports of damage from the earthquake, according to Deputy Director Melissa Temple.
A list of earthquakes in Maine on the Maine Geological Survey website includes just two earthquakes in 2017, but seven in 2016. The last earthquake with an epicenter in Maine and a magnitude at or above 2.6 was another 2.6 magnitude quake in Sidney on June 21, 2013.
The site reports that the last earthquake with an epicenter in Lincoln County was a 2.5 magnitude quake in the Boothbay Harbor area Jan. 14, 2013.
The website earthquaketrack.com, however, reports three small quakes in Lincoln County since the Boothbay Harbor quake: 1.8 magnitude quakes in Nobleboro and Waldoboro on July 16 and 17, 2017, and a 1.7 magnitude quake in Whitefield on May 29, 2013.