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BAR HARBOR – There’s a good chance you felt it, too, if you were in eastern Maine on Monday night.
Another earthquake rattled windows and shook floors in several counties shortly after 8 p.m., rousing residents from their television viewing and other after-dinner activities to phone each other or to knock on a neighbor’s door and ask, “What was THAT?”
The temblor is the third official seismic event recorded in Bar Harbor in the past 11 days.
Initial reports indicate the rumbling was felt in parts or all of Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Penobscot, Sagadahoc, Waldo and Washington counties.
Information posted Monday night on the Web site of Boston College’s Weston Observatory, which monitors seismic activity in New England for the federal government, indicated the quake struck at 8:07 p.m., had a magnitude of 3.4, and was centered on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island near the village of Otter Creek.
Tim Nickels, dispatcher for the Bar Harbor Police Department, said the switchboard lit up within seconds after he and his co-workers felt the shaking.
Some callers indicated the temblor had knocked out telephone lines, uprooted trees and even sent some large rocks tumbling into roads, Nickels said. One caller reported the quake ruptured a water tank in his basement, he said.
“No serious damage and nobody hurt,” Nickels said. “We got pretty lucky.”
Peter Reilly, Verizon’s Maine spokesman, said Monday night that the company could not verify any reports about lost phone service.
“There’s nothing we can confirm,” he said.
Attempts to contact Weston Observatory officials Monday night were unsuccessful.
Emergency dispatchers in regional communications centers throughout the state indicated the tremors were felt as far away as Jonesboro, LaGrange and even Bath.
Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said the department’s dispatch center in Orono felt the temblor and received 35 calls about it. The department dispatch center in Augusta did not feel the quake, but it received 25 calls from concerned residents, he said.
“They got reports Maine residents felt it as far south as Windsor,” McCausland said.
Initial reports indicated Monday’s earthquake was about as strong as the one that struck 11 days ago, which many Mount Desert Island residents said was the first one felt on the island in recent memory. A 3.5 magnitude quake with an epicenter on the eastern side of Acadia National Park’s Champlain Mountain was reported on Sept. 22.
Two aftershocks, one with a magnitude of 1.8 and the other measured at 2.5, struck a few minutes apart just before 10 a.m. Sept. 28, centered just a few miles north of Bar Harbor in Frenchman Bay.
John Gamage, a dispatcher at the Knox County Regional Communications Center, said Monday night he felt the most recent temblor in Rockland. One Union resident reported that the shaking sent furniture sliding across the floor of her house, he said.
“I knew what it was,” the dispatcher said.
Gamage has lived in California and experienced earthquakes before. He felt the vibration through the floor and didn’t say anything at first to his fellow dispatcher, he said, because he didn’t want his co-worker to think he was crazy. Then the phones lit up with calls.
“We’ve gotten several of them,” he said.
None of the callers reported any damage caused by the earthquake, but it may have been too soon to tell, Gamage said.
“Daylight may show something else,” he said.