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Small earthquake rattles Dartmouth

A small earthquake shook the ground in Dartmouth Tuesday night, according to the US Geological Survey.

The 2.4-magnitude quake was recorded at 5:46 p.m. in the Bliss Corner area of Dartmouth, 1 mile south-southwest of New Bedford, the USGS said.

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Dartmouth police and firefighters said they did not receive any calls on the quake.

A New Bedford police dispatcher, however, said many residents of the town took to social media, reporting they felt the quake. The station also received many calls, he said.

“People get excited when they feel something,” he said.

No injuries or damage were reported.

Daniel Machado, a New Bedford Twitter user, wrote on his Twitter account that he felt the temblor.

“Shook my house and what a bang,” he wrote.

Kelby Kim, another New Bedford Twitter user, wrote that she felt her house shake.

The USGS received about 80 reports on the “Did You Feel It” portion of the agency’s website. Some people estimated the temblor was a III on the Modified Mercator Mercalli Intensity Scale, which meant they felt it “quite noticeably.”

It was the second earthquake recorded in the area this year. A 1.9 magnitude quake was recorded on Jan. 9, according to John Ebel, a senior research scientist for the Weston Observatory.

Ebel said he was studying the two quakes.

“Sometimes areas become active and then quiet again,” he said. “We’re not sure why it happens. It is one of the mysteries of New England earthquakes.”

Ebel said people should keep in mind that areas that experience minor quakes have the potential for larger earthquakes in the future.

“It’s something we need to be aware of,” he said.

Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at jacqueline.tempera@globe.com. Follow her on twitter @jacktemp.
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