Residents say recent shaking worst yet

04/01/2012 06:35

PostCrescent: MILWAUKEE — Geological officials said Wednesday they are considering putting a seismometer in a Wisconsin city where a small earthquake was recorded last week after strong booms and rumblings shook residents once again.

♦ Clintonville booms: U.S. Geological Survey asks residents to report events to website

Clintonville police received 65 calls Tuesday night between 10:35 p.m. and 11:40 p.m. and another 19 calls came in between 3:25 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Clintonville Police Chief Terry Lorge said. Several of the booms were heard by officials at City Hall, he said.

Residents reported the most recent booming as the worst yet, city administrator Lisa Kuss said. Most of the previous calls came in from March 18 to March 20, when a 1.5-magnitude earthquake was detected by the U.S. Geological Survey. The calls had since decreased.

Jordan Pfeiler, 21, said the booms had been getting weaker so Tuesday night's big boom — followed by smaller ones into Wednesday morning — really scared her.

"People started living their lives again because they were getting little," she said. "After last night I don't know what people are doing."

The U.S. Geological Survey was unable to detect anything Tuesday night and is considering putting a seismometer in Clintonville to get a better reading of potential activity, said Geophysicist John Bellini, who is in Golden, Colo.

He said he suspects it's a swarm of small earthquakes. That's because the agency has ruled out human-made causes, there was one detectable earthquake and multiple events are occurring.

While such events are unusual in Wisconsin in recent history, Bellini said it happens several times a year in different parts of the country. He said quake swarms last anywhere from a few days to a few months. He said experts know about the larger ones that are near populated areas with seismometers, but they likely also happen in places without equipment or people to feel them.

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