GRAY – The National Weather Service in Gray has no report of earthquake effects in Maine. No physical evidence, nothing anecdotal.

There is at least a handful of people who would disagree.

“I did feel it,” said Mary Burpee Sargent of Parsonsfield in northern York County. “I just thought it was strange-sounding thunder.”

In Oxford County, at least two people reported hearing or feeling the rumble from the far off quake – experts say it was centered in the Canadian province of Quebec.

At the U.S. Geological Survey, officials said the quake was a magnitude 5.0 that struck the Ontario-Quebec border region shortly before 2 p.m.

“I heard strange thunder up here in East Dixfield, a low-pitched but loud rumbling sound without any flashes of lightning,” said Sun Journal reporter Terry Karkos. He did not feel any ground movement.

“One thing I did notice though, the birds out back were chirping unusually in that it wasn’t the singsong sounds they usually make,” Karkos said. “Just one syllable chirps like every three seconds. That happened after the quake rolled through. There was no chirping during the quake, just the strange thunder.”

In Portland, a medical office building was evacuated for a short time after workers felt the building shaking. Other reports trickled in from Brunswick, Augusta and Fryeburg. In Waterville, a Salvation Army store was briefly cleared out when the quake was felt.

Several people from area towns, including Lewiston and Auburn, said they were outside at the time of the quake but they felt and heard nothing.

But according to the U.S. Geological Survey, people from 50 Maine cities and towns contacted them about the quake throughout the day.


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