After three days of strange things that go bump in the night in Clintonville, residents may finally have their answer.
“We are glad that after approximately 86 hours, the community can rest knowing that you have an answer. The mystery is solved. We have experienced an earthquake here in Clintonville,” Clintonville City Administrator Lisa Kuss said.
At a community meeting, Clintonville’s city administrator tried to reassure some nervous residents. “Because this is so far under the earth’s surface, there’s no reason to believe that anything’s going to happen that would make something like a sinkhole or some sort of what you, again, would see in the movies as a fault, and things would open up in the earth, and people falling in. It’s very much a movie sensationalism, so I do believe you’re safe,” Kuss said.
The mystery got the attention of the U.S. Geological Survey, which took a hard look at its readings of the earth’s movements and found a 1.5 magnitude quake centered on Main Street. Representative said, without jest, it may be the smallest recorded earthquake that anybody has noticed.
“This is a very, very, very, extremely small quake. It’s a microquake,” USGS geophysicist Rafael Abreu said. It may be a microquake by definition, but Todd Bossert, who lives at the epicenter, said it was noticed. “We experienced a loud boom. The floor shook. The ceiling, the whole house shook, and the windows rattled,” Bossert said.
The USGS speculated the soil in Clintonville could account for the perceptible shake and booms, despite the relatively small reading in magnitude. “I’m glad to know of it. (I) kind of wish it was some other news, to be honest with you. I would rather hear it was sewer gas or something rather than an earthquake, because my next question is, ‘When is the next one coming?'” Bossert asked.