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Buffalo-area 3.8-magnitude earthquake 'felt like a train going through the basement'

A map of WNY with several rings showing the different magnitudes felt of the earthquake.
USGS Earthquake Hazards Program map of the M 3.8 earthquake in West Seneca

A 3.8-magnitude earthquake awoke many Western New Yorkers on Monday morning around 6:15 a.m.

The epicenter of the earthquake was estimated to be on or around Steiner Avenue in West Seneca between Mineral Springs and Indian Church roads. Erie County continues to inspect roads and bridges but has not reported any damage so far.

West Seneca Police tweeted, "Well good morning everyone. Just your usual Buffalo morning earthquake, back to bed," adding that their two public safety dispatchers got an uptick in calls due to the earthquake.

West Seneca and surrounding areas including parts of Sloan and Lackawanna experienced a Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) of 4.5, which reflects the intensity in terms of what people would have felt.

A level 4 would be "felt by many; sensation like a heavy body striking building." Walls creaking and windows rattling are normal at this level. At level 5, trees would be noticeably shaken, cracks in windows and plaster in some homes, and it would be felt by nearly all people in the area and small items would have moved or fallen.

We reached out to listeners on Twitter to get their reactions to the earthquake. Danielle LeGare wrote us: "My house was shaking, and I heard coffee cups clattering and had no idea what was going on. I woke up my husband, screaming, 'The house is shaking.' And he muttered 'earthquake,' and then rolled back over and went back to sleep."

On Twitter, Maggie also wrote us, saying "I live in Snyder & was having a super weird dream about a monster, so I thought it was part of my dream! I honestly worried a plane crashed. I hopped on Twitter to see what was going on & was relieved it was minor given what's happening in Turkey & Syria."

Buffalo, Cheektowaga and parts of Lancaster, Williamsville, Kenmore, Orchard Park and Blasdell would have felt the second-strongest impact at MMI of 4. Communities as far as Niagara Falls and Springville would have experienced an MMI of 3. Some areas as far as Toronto and Rochester experienced an MMI of 2.5.

Bridget María Chesterton shared with us, "I heard a loud boom and my house shook on Grand Island. It reminded me of the strongest winds that rattled my house during the December blizzard" and @mymadness told us the earthquake felt like "a train going through the basement." Likewise, Mallory Morrison on Twitter said "I'm in south Buffalo and I thought a garbage truck must have hit the house."

Emyle Watkins is an investigative journalist covering disability for WBFO.