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The 1944 Magnitude 5.8
Cornwall-Massena earthquake

Local Date and Time: September 5, 1944 at 12:38:45 am Eastern time
UT Date and Time: 1944-09-05 04:38:45 UT
Magnitude: MW 5.8; MS 5.6; mN 5.8
Maximum Intensity: (Modified Mercalli) VII
Latitude: 44.97° N
Longitude: 74.90° W
Depth: 20 km

Isoseismal Map: (Modified Mercalli scale) Although this earthquake was only of magnitude 5.8, it caused considerable damage in both Cornwall and Massena, New York. About 2,000 chimneys were damaged in Cornwall.

map of affected area

Cornwall, Ontario Considerable damage was caused at the Collegiate and Vocational School. The falling masonry broke through the roof of the adjacent gymnasium.

image of damage

image of damage

Cornwall:Damage to a residential building.
image of damage

Cornwall: Damage to a two-storey residence.
image of damage


Bent, A.L., 1996. Source parameters of the damaging Cornwall-Massena earthquake of 1944 from regional waveforms. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, V. 86, 489-497.