Lowellville, Liberty report hearing boom and feeling ground shake

At this time, it's still unclear what exactly some Valley residents heard and felt


LOWELLVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – Did you hear a loud boom or feel a small tremor on Tuesday?

Several WKBN viewers said they heard a loud noise, followed by shaking. The Youngstown area has had earthquakes in the past, but what happened on Tuesday could have been something completely different.

Lowellville residents experienced it around 3 p.m., but there were reports of the same thing in Liberty five hours earlier. Two separate locations, both felt the ground shake.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said it didn’t detect an earthquake.

“Our alert system detected nothing in the Youngstown area yesterday and I looked through other seismic data from the area as well, and found no indication of any earthquake activity at the times reported,” a spokesperson said.

It wasn’t an earthquake, but was it a rare seismic event commonly referred to as a “frost quake?”

Frost quakes can happen in the winter when the water in the ground freezes quickly, causing the ground to expand and crack. The ground will crack with a large force, creating a boom and shake.

But these occur as temperatures plummet, not during the peak temps of the day like when it happened in the Valley.

Even YSU professor Dr. Jeffrey Dick looked into the reports.

“Ohio Seismic Network seismograph did not pick up any unusual activity for the period specified for possible frost quakes,” he said.

At this time, it’s still unclear what exactly some Valley residents heard and felt. We do know that it wasn’t caused naturally.


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