Plainfield: Quiet corner quakes again

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PLAINFIELD- Earthquakes, no matter how minor, can rattle one's nerves, not to mention pictures and plates. Still, the people of Plainfield appear to be settling into their new existence. The Quiet Corner has morphed into the Quake Corner.

Tuesday morning, at approximately 9:30, the Plainfield Police Department fielded roughly a dozen phone calls, most from Green Hollow Road, reporting yet another earthquake. This one was a 2.1 magnitude.

"And, that's nothing like the hundreds (of calls) that we were dealing with earlier when this was all occurring," said Plainfield Police Capt. Mario Arriaga.

Earlier meaning January. Last month, the United States Geological Society reported 12 earthquakes in a one week span pulsating Plainfield.  The strongest registering a 3.3.

"It feels like somebody's underneath you, like somebody's underneath the ground or like they're drilling and your legs just vibrate a little bit," said Capt. Arriaga.

There were no reports of damage Tuesday. But, does such frequency portend something more major?

"The whole question of earthquake forecasting and prediction is a very tough problem that seismologists really have not solved ," said Dr. Maureen Long, a Yale University seismologist.

Bruce Plantier, a longtime resident of Green Hollow Road, never imagined he would have to consider purchasing earthquake insurance.

" I just heard a boom," Plantier said of this morning's tremor. Knowing that the Tilcon quarry down the street hasn't been blasting for a few years, he knew what it was.

"I was sitting at my table, having my coffee and I'm talking to my daughter on the phone and I says oh no not another one," recalled Stella Sumner, a Green Hollow Road resident for over 30 years.

Plainfield happens to be right near one of the major faults running under Connecticut.

It's known as the Lake Char – Honey Hill fault system," said Long. "What we don't know is if this series of earthquakes is occurring on that fault."

​Most major earthquakes that make the news occur right along the boundaries of tectonic plates. But, what Plainfield is experiencing are intra-plate earthquakes, ones that occur within a tectonic plate.

"Here in Connecticut, we have a lot of old faults in the earths crust and sometimes those can get reactivated," said Long.

While Connecticut has never experienced an earthquake higher then the mid 4's in magnitude, Dr. Long says seismologists worldwide remain interested in our the state's recent rumbles.