Toronto suffers no serious earthquake damage
Toronto came through Wednesday afternoon's earthquake largely unscathed, although many people declared themselves to be shaken and stirred.
"I said to my partner, 'What was that?' And he said, 'What was ... Oh my God!" laughed Pamela Dries.
"We felt the floor shake. Our drawers were moving. And we ran out," said Mary Gatto, who works on the 16th floor of Scotia Plaza.
Some initially thought the commotion could be tied to G20 Summit activity nearby.
"We took to the stairs and got out as fast as we could," said Chris Carrick.
After coming outside, they spoke with some construction workers, he said. "They said: 'Oh, you guys just came out of that building? They said, 'We saw it swaying,'" he said, making a waving motion with his hand.
"We thought: 'OK, that's got nothing to do with G20. That's something a little bigger."
Fortunately, no injuries were reported. Any property damage was of a very minor nature.
"In our initial assessment, there has been no major damage to City infrastructure," the city of Toronto said in a news release.
This also applied to the TTC, it said.
One thing to note is the city's emergency operations centre is currently up and running because of the G8 and G20 Summits that begin Friday.
Const. Tony Vella of the Toronto Police Service told CTV News Channel that police got no calls to respond to scenes of injuries or major damage.
However, reports of damage have emerged in from the epicentre, estimated to be 53 kilometres north of Ottawa, or more than 400 kilometres from Toronto.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimated the quake's strength as 5.0 in magnitude at the epicentre. It started at 1:41:42 p.m., with Toronto starting to feel its effects just under three minutes later.
CTV Toronto weather anchor Tom Brown said there are three fault lines -- one through Toronto -- that lead from the Ottawa River into Ontario. The Ottawa-St. Lawrence River areas are seismically active, he said.
"You can (imagine) how the energy would travel along these fault lines," he said.
While Toronto dodged a bullet this time, the city has this advice for the next time an earthquake strikes:
- stay way from glass, windows, outside doors and walls
- drop to the ground
- take cover, preferably under a sturdy table or other furniture
- hold on until the shaking stops
- if no cover is available, cover your face and head with your hands while crouching in an inside corner of the building
"If outdoors - stay there. Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires. Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops," the city said.
"If in a moving vehicle, stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses and utility wires."
With a report from CTV Toronto's Alicia Markson