Historic Earthquakes

Between Massena, New York and Cornwall, Ontario, Canada
1944 09 05 04:38:45.7 UTC (Local 09/04)
Magnitude 5.80
Intensity VIII

Largest Earthquake in New York

This severe earthquake was felt from Canada south to Maryland and from Maine west to Indiana. It caused property damage estimated at $2 million at Massena and Cornwall. Many chimneys in that area required rebuilding, and several structures were unsafe for occupancy until repaired. Residents of St. Lawrence County reported that many water wells went dry.

At Massena, in northern St. Lawrence County, 90 percent of the chimneys were destroyed or damaged and house foundations, plumbing, and masonry were damaged severely. Similar effects were reported at Cornwall. Cracks formed in the ground at Hogansburg, and brick-masonry and concrete structures were damaged. Chimneys were downed in several towns in New York, including Fort Covington, Keeseville, Malone, Norfolk, Ogdensburg, and Waddington.

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.

Additional Links