Historic Earthquakes

Near Moodus, Middlesex County, Connecticut
1791 05 16 13:00 UTC
Intensity VII

Largest Earthquake in Connecticut

The region around East Haddam, on the Connecticut River northeast of New Haven, has been the scene of a series of local disturbances since this country was settled. The region southeast of Middletown has been referred to in Indian tradition as Morehemoodus, or "place of noises." The first reported earthquake began on May 16 with two heavy shocks in quick succession. Stone walls were shaken down, tops of chimneys were knocked off, and latched doors were thrown open. A fissure several meters long formed in the ground. In a short time, 30 lighter shocks occurred, and more than 100 continued during the night. Reported felt at Boston, Massachusetts, and New York City, New York.

Abridged from Seismicity of the United States, 1568-1989 (Revised), by Carl W. Stover and Jerry L. Coffman, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1527, United States Government Printing Office, Washington: 1993.