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The After Effects of an Upstate, NY Earthquake

By Jasmyn Belcher


Oswego, NY – A local earthquake expert says yesterday's earthquake isn't exactly over.

The earthquake in Canada was felt all across Upstate, NY. There were no reports of any serious damage but it was measured at a 5.0 magnitude.

Tom O'Rourke is a Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. He said this earthquake is large enough to create a series of aftershocks.

"What happens in a main shock, is you get the main rupture. That main rupture will cause a breakage in the crust and release some stresses," O'Rourke said. "But what that release of stresses will do, is it will transfer some stresses to some other locations in the crustal rock mass close to the rupture that just occurred, and they'll be over stressed but at a lower level. They'll tend to break with time after the earthquake, until all the stresses are released around the crack."

O'Rourke said aftershocks could occur anytime from a few days after the earthquake, to one month later. They are generally measured at the three or four magnitude and won't do damage, but he said the earthquake shows stress is accumulating in the region and people should continue to take it seriously.