Earthquake jolts Berks; 'The Christmas tree started shaking'

'It was something I won't forget'

If you heard and felt a rumbling in Berks County around 5 p.m. Thursday, you may have thought Santa had already arrived.

"The Christmas tree started shaking and the floor started shaking," Chris Miccicke said as he stood outside his home in Exeter Township.

He could have mistaken it for an effect on his video game controller.

"I was sitting on my chair and playing my video games, and it just started shaking," Miccicke shared.

The shaking was the result of an earthquake, measured by Millersville University's seismograph as having a magnitude of 4.1.

Donald Fair of Mt. Penn was at his computer when it happened.

"I heard a low-grade boom, preceded by the chair I was sitting on was vibrating," he explained.

Pennsylvania State Police and 911 dispatchers in Berks County said they did not receive any calls regarding the tremor and, according to those that felt it, it didn't last long.

"It lasted maybe 10 seconds," said Miccicke.

For many, it brought back memories of shaking six years ago.

"The whole house shook. It was front to back," recalled Fred Glaser of Exeter Township. "This one went side to side."

Donald Fair also recalled the afternoon quake back then.

"My first suspicion was an earthquake because of past history and previous events that happened," he said.

We don't get them as often as the West Coast, but when we do, just like an aftershock, the memories tend to linger.

"It was something I won't forget," said Miccicke.

The earthquake was centered about six miles east-northeast of Dover, Delaware, sending lawmakers and workers in the statehouse outdoors to see what happened.

Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the United States Geological Survey's earthquake information center in Colorado, said the quake was widely felt around the Mid-Atlantic region.

Caruso said he didn't expect any significant damage, given the small size of the quake.

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