A relatively small earthquake with an epicenter in southern Penobscot County briefly shook parts of eastern Waldo County on Tuesday, March 30.

According to the United States Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Program Web site, the magnitude 3.0 earthquake occurred at 4:42 p.m. Tuesday. Coordinates posted on that site indicate the epicenter of the earthquake was near Kings Mountain in Orrington, just north of the Bucksport town line.

On the USGS Web site, a list of responses from people in various communities who felt the earthquake — or heard the noise that accompanied it — showed residents in the Waldo County communities of Frankfort, Winterport, Searsmont and Stockton Springs had responded.

The responses were broken down by ZIP codes, and the highest number of responses (21) came from the Bucksport ZIP code. The next highest number was six from 04981, which includes both Stockton Springs and Prospect.

Prospect resident Barbara Tilley said she heard a big bang when the earthquake happened, and first assumed that blasting was taking place at a nearby quarry. When she saw no tell-tale smoke to indicate a blast, she made a few phone calls, and soon learned there had been an earthquake.

“The dog felt it before we did,” said Tilley of the earthquake. “He started barking before we knew what he was barking at.”

Tilley said her house also shook for a few seconds, but that there was no damage to her home. She said her daughter, who lives in Bucksport, felt the shaking more and also noticed a smaller-magnitude aftershock that followed the earthquake.

Stockton Springs Selectwoman Sara Bradford said she heard a loud noise around the time of the earthquake, and at first thought it was either the train passing by or a dump truck emptying a load. Bradford said she did not feel any shaking where she lives, in the Sandy Point section of Stockton Springs.

On the Maine Geological Survey’s Web site, a list of all earthquakes in Maine since 1997 with magnitudes greater than 2.0 shows the last earthquake of this size in the state occurred Dec. 29, 2006, when a magnitude 3.1 earthquake was reported east of Cadillac Mountain on Mount Desert Island.

That quake was one of a half-dozen reported in that area between September and December of 2006, with earthquakes ranging in size from magnitude 2.3 to magnitude 4.5.

Although an earthquake does not have to be centered in Waldo County to be felt here, the last quake with an epicenter in Waldo County — according to the Maine Geological Survey’s list — was on Feb. 25, 2002, when a magnitude 2.6 earthquake was reported with an epicenter about 4 miles southwest of Bucksport.

Prior to that, a magnitude 1.3 earthquake was reported July 1, 2001, with an epicenter about 2 miles southwest of Bucksport.

For more information about earthquakes, visit the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program’s Web site at earthquake.usgs.gov.

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