'It literally shook the house': Small earthquake recorded outside Halifax

People living in communities surrounding Porters Lake, N.S. were left feeling a little rattled Thursday after a small earthquake shook the area.

Natural Resources Canada confirms a 2.7-magnitude earthquake was recorded 20 kilometres east of Halifax around 5:10 p.m.

“It’s a small one,” said Nick Ackerley, a seismologist with Canadian Hazards Information Service. “It’s not going to cause damage, but a lot of people may have felt it.”

Many people did feel it. CTV News viewers reported hearing what sounded like lightning, a dump truck or even a plane crash. Others say they felt a rumble.

"I heard a huge bang, like a BAROOM, my husband heard it too, but I felt it in the floor, and this is a huge flat cement floor, and it literally shook the house," says Marlene Cormier-Cox, who lives in Head of Chezzetcook, N.S.

Blair Davis owns several donkeys at his Lawrencetown, N.S. home. He says the animals began causing a commotion, minutes before the earth shook his home.

“All of a sudden my baby donkey Diesel came out of the barn braying, and I thought, ‘that’s kind of unusual for him, what’s going on?” says Davis.

Geologist Djordje Grujic the effects of such a small quake would be impossible to record.

“For such a small fault to calculate precisely what is the size of the fracture and besides the movement, but we can estimate it was very, very small, perhaps two centimetres,” says Grujic.

Ackerley is encouraging anyone who might have felt or heard the earthquake to report it. So far, more than 500 local reports have been filed.

“We don’t have a sense of the depth of the earthquake, but there’s a possibility, based on what people are saying about how they felt it, we might be able to infer more about what the actual depth of the event was,” says Ackerley.

While earthquakes are not new to Nova Scotia, they’re quite uncommon.

“Nova Scotia is seismically quite inactive,” adds Ackerley. “In our records, there’s never been an earthquake larger than magnitude four.”

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl.