Small earthquake barely rattles N.H.

Central part of state 'fairly active'

By Michele Richinick and Stewart Bishop
Globe Correspondents / April 24, 2009
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Scientists say the earth convulsed recently about 6 miles below an area near Silver Lake in Belmont, N.H.

But Katie Robinson, who lives in a neighborhood above the epicenter of the small earthquake, said yesterday, "I didn't feel anything."

The quake that rattled the Lakes Region of central New Hampshire last week was the most recent in a history of seismic activity in the area.

The New England Seismic Network detected a temblor with a magnitude of 2.1 on April 15 at 1:48 p.m. The epicenter was off Tilton Road in Belmont near the lake, according to coordinates provided by scientists.

"Central New Hampshire is fairly active," said Dina Smith, associate director of operations for the Weston Observatory of Boston College, which operates the Seismic Network. "They get an earthquake there four or five times a year."

The earthquake's magnitude was average for the Lakes Region, Smith said.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 1.0 was detected April 12, approximately 9.5 kilometers north of Franklin, N.H.

"It was a small quake, but if you live right where the quake happened, you can feel it," Smith said.

Otherwise, people cannot normally detect earthquakes that are below a magnitude of 2.0, she said.