Some said it felt and sounded like a passing train or a nearby truck; one resident compared it to a herd of elephants.
In Gloucester and across Cape Ann, the local sensation of the 4.0 magnitude earthquake that shook New England from Maine to Connecticut Tuesday was the talk of the town, And while some residents confessed they didn’t feel or hear anything at all, many had a story to tell.
When the quake ended just after 7:10 p.m., Christine Pantano — Mayor Carolyn Kirk’s executive assistant — said her husband, Stephen, called from their second house in West Newfield, Maine — roughly 12 miles from Waterboro, Maine, the city closest to the epicenter.
She said he told her that an earthquake hit, but didn’t scratch the West Newfield house, aside from skewing everything hanging on the home walls.
“Nothing was damaged, except for the wall hangings being askew,” Pantano said.
The quake didn’t last long. Pantano, who lives in Beverly, said it ended quickly. At home, she said she thought that her heating system had malfunctioned, or National Grid crews on her street started digging again.
Residents here felt the quake around 7:13 p.m.
Mary Jane Febonio said she felt her house shake in Pigeon Cove. She said it felt like someone was bumping an unsteady table, but sounded like a truck rolling by. She said her husband heard a rumbling and also thought a tractor-trailer ran by the house.
Febonio, however, said she knew it was an earthquake; trucks don’t pass by that way.
“My husband said it was a truck, and I said look outside, there’s no one around as far as the eye can see,” Febonio said.
The quake touched off countless emergency alarms. In Manchester, a Summer Street resident called police and said the shaking felt like a house may have exploded. Police told the caller he was feeling the earthquake.