Earthquake, near Nelsonville, Ohio
Athens County, November 20, 2013
Origin Time: 20 November, 2013, 17:59:39.817 UTC
Location: 39.445 North 82.205 West
Depth: 11 km
A widely felt earthquake occurred at 12:59 p.m. EST near Nelsonville, northwest Athens County. More than 400 felt reports in more than 100 zip codes were submitted to the U.S. Geological Survey's website (see link below) ranging from northern West Virginia on the south to Delaware County on the north. No damages were reported and would not be expected with an earthquake of this magnitude. Although earthquakes in southeastern Ohio are not common compared to some areas of the state, they do occur occasionally. On May 3, 1886, a non-instrumentally located earthquake occurred near the location of the November 20 event. The 1886 earthquake was assigned a magnitude of 3.8 based on felt reports recorded by newspapers and was widely felt.
Individuals who felt this event are encouraged to submit a report or email: email@example.com. Please include a description of what you felt and your street address in your email message.
Go to USGS map of felt reports for this event
Historic May 3, 1886 quake event Athens County
Event location: 39.36 North 82.24 West
Modified Mercalli intensity: V
The following is an account of the earthquake from the Athens Messenger, May 6, 1886.
Athens Messenger, May 6, 1886. “About half-past nine o’clock Sunday night the serene quietude of our peaceful community was abruptly broken by deep and alarming subterranean rumblings which at once brought to the startled apprehension of local dwellers that they were realizing the novel experience of an earthquake. The shock lasted from six to eight seconds and was vigorous enough to give every house in town a lively shaking up and in many of which the vibrations were violent enough to visibly move beds and other heavy pieces of furniture and in very many instances to displace or overturn mantle ornaments, noisily rattle the dishes on tables and shelves, open and close doors, set rockers in motion and to produce many other queer performances. A sequence of this underground agitation worth naming is that the water, very generally, to the wells here was found to be muddy next morning, evidently the result of the commotion to which it had been subjected.
A like commotion was observed during the rumpus to agitate the waters of the asylum lakes and during which, our informant tells us, a multitude of fish were seen to wildly leap above the surface. At the asylum, the effects of the ‘quake’ (for short) were materialized in the various ways experienced in town and many of the patients in the several wards were wrought to a high tension of excitement.
The effect of the shock was felt throughout the county, citizens from various parts of which relate experiences similar to those above narrated. According to our information at the time of writing this, the territorial range of the shock was circumscribed by limits of perhaps 80 miles from east to west, beginning somewhere in the region of Parkersburg, and from south to north, in very nearly the course the energy of the shock was seemingly exerted. The extent of the country affected approximates a hundred miles, with Athens as the central point.