March 14 - 1974: Earthquake shakes the Cape

The day the earth shook here
The seismograph reading just under 3.0 on the Richter scale. Any lower and no one would have felt it.

1974: Minor earthquake shakes the Cape

Tremors felt in Orleans, Chatham, Dennis, Brewster, Harwich, Yarmouth and Sandwich

On this day in 1974, an earthquake measuring 2.8 on the Richter scale struck around Orleans, the second such tremor in southeastern New England in a week.

"It really was minor, a few plates rattled and that was about it," Tim Gould of Orleans police told United Press International. "It felt like a furnace going on except a little bit louder."

Orleans police received about 100 calls from residents who reported hearing what sounded like thunder or a loud boom. The quake was also felt in Chatham, Dennis, Brewster, Harwich, Yarmouth and Sandwich.

The tremor a week earlier had measured 3.5 on the Richter scale and was followed within minutes by an aftershock measuring 2.8, Weston Observatory spokesman Father Francis Donahue told UPI. The quake on the Cape had enough force to rattle a windowpane, Donahue said. 

"If it's lower than that, people wouldn't feel it," Donahue was quoted as saying. "The seismograph would feel it, though."


CapeCodToday.com welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on CapeCodToday.com.