The magnitude 4.0 earthquake that occurred on October 16, 2012, near Hollis Center and Waterboro in southwestern Maine surprised and startled local residents but caused only minor damage. A two-person U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) team was sent to Maine to conduct an intensity survey and document the damage. The only damage we observed was the failure of a chimney and plaster cracks in two buildings in East and North Waterboro, 6 kilometers (km) west of the epicenter. We photographed the damage and interviewed residents to determine the intensity distribution in the epicentral area. The damage and shaking reports are consistent with a maximum Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) of 5–6 for an area 1–8 km west of the epicenter, slightly higher than the maximum Community Decimal Intensity (CDI) of 5 determined by the USGS “Did You Feel It?” Web site. The area of strong shaking in East Waterboro corresponds to updip rupture on a fault plane that dips steeply east.
Field survey of earthquake effects from the magnitude 4.0 southern Maine earthquake of October 16, 2012