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3.4 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Vinton County

An orange dot shows the epicenter of Wednesday's 3.4-magnitude earthquake near McArthur.

A 3.4-magnitude earthquake was detected near McArthur, Ohio, by the United States Geological Survey at 12:24 p.m. on Wednesday. 

McArthur is the county seat of Vinton County, with a population of about 1,700, and sits near Wayne National Forest.

According to the Vinton County Sheriff's Office, people reported houses shaking and things falling off countertops.

Wednesday's earthquake follows a similar, 3.0-magnitude quake that also struck near Wayne National Forest, in Monroe County, in April. The April earthquake shut down oil and gas drilling operations in southeastern Ohio while the state investigated the causes.

According to FracTracker, a number of hydraulic fracturing - or fracking - wells are in operation in the area surrounding the epicenter. A statement from ODNR, however, said the earthquake was "naturally-occurring."

"Seismologists are examining the data to define a more precise location, but it appears to be in the McArthur area, and it is likely associated with the Athens fault line," said ODNR spokesperson Eric Heis.

Gabe Rosenberg joined WOSU in October 2016. As digital news editor, Gabe reports breaking news and edits all content for the WOSU website, as well as manages the station's social media accounts.