McDONALD, Ohio (KDKA/AP) — Authorities say a minor earthquake hit in northeast Ohio Saturday.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a 4.0 magnitude earthquake hit this afternoon near Youngstown, Ohio.

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There are reports of people feeling it in Allegheny County, and as far away as Morgantown.

The quake was centered in McDonald, Ohio.

Residents there said a loud boom accompanied the shaking, but sheriff’s dispatchers from several counties in the area said there were no immediate reports of damage.

“Most of it was just a lot of residents scared,” said Chief Nicholas Kish, of the fire department in McDonald, Ohio. “We had pictures and knick-knacks off of walls, and some things moved in the house. We did have a chimney that came off, a brick chimney off of a home in the village from the initial earthquake, that came down in the yard.”

This is the latest in a series of minor quakes in northeast Ohio. The area has experienced at least 10 this year.

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Officials said Saturday night that they believe the quakes may be related to fracking, the controversial drilling technique that injects wastewater into the ground.

There’s worry that doing it near a fault line is creating enough pressure to cause seismic activity.

Four injection wells in Youngstown will remain inactive while further scientific research is conducted. The Ohio Seismic Network said more small quakes are possible.

At the same time, the director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources says fracking is not to blame.

U.S. Geological Survey
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