NEW YORK'S LARGEST EARTHQUAKE

On September 4, 1944, an earthquake centered about midway between Massena, New York, and Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, caused an estimated $2 million damage in the two cities. The shock destroyed or damaged about 90 percent of the chimneys at Massena (intensity VIII). In addition, masonry, plumbing, and house foundations were damaged. Many structures were rendered unsafe for occupancy until repaired. Press reports indicated a large number of wells in St. Lawrence County went dry, causing acute hardship. Brick masonry and concrete structures were damaged at Hogansburg; some ground cracking was also noted at nearby towns. This earthquake was felt over approximately 450,000 square kilometers (270,000 sq. mi.) in the United States, including all the New England States, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and portions of Michigan and Ohio.

 

Massena Earthquake Map

The lines and colors on this isoseismal map enclose areas with equal effects for 1944 Massena earthquake. The event was widely felt and did significant damage near the epicenter. Note that the contours represent Mercalli Intensity rather than Richter magnitude.


Next >> Measuring Earthquakes

 


NYSGS CONTACT    |    NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM    |    NYSM RESEARCH & COLLECTIONS

The New York State Geological Survey (NYSGS) is a bureau of
the New York State Museum in the New York State Education Department.
NYSED Logo