Seismic Activity


Information Regarding Unusual Sounds & Vibrations

Greenwich Township, Berks County



Residents of Greenwich Township have reported hearing loud "booms" and feeling their houses shake.  We investigated the possibility of explosions in the area of Zettlemoyer/Wessner Rd & Bower Rd on October 5th and were unable to find any evidence of such, malicious or otherwise.  After speaking with a geologist with the PA DCNR Bureau of Topographic and Geological Survey it was determined that the most likely explanation is a "swarm" of small earthquakes in the area.  It should be noted that these seismic events are NOT necessarily a precursor to a larger event; however, that does not remove the possibility, unlikely as it may be.  The Bureau as well as the Pennsylvania State Seismic Network (a division of Penn State University) have been monitoring several other incidents similar to these through Berks County recently.

It is very important for us to stress that there is no indication of any threat or danger due to these events.

Seismic events such as these occur for various reasons including frequent, heavy rainfalls and natural settling/shifting of the ground.  The ground in the area is largely slate/shale and not susceptible to sinkholes or other land shifts.  The best way to describe what is most likely occurring is that the ground is settling for an unknown reason and is not likely to get worse.  With that said, these events may continue for quite some time, as evidenced by a recent "swarm" of seismic events similar to this in Dillsburg, PA.  In that case, the events lasted sporadically for a few years and ended as mysteriously as they began.  There is not much known in the geologic community regarding why these events occur or how to anticipate them.

In the meantime, if you should experience any further such seismic events, please report them to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) "Did You Feel It?" reporting page.  Also, please send an email to with your address in the subject line so that we may maintain a record of the events for further investigation with the DCNR Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey.  Please include the date, time, location (Lat/Long or street address) and any observed phenomena (noise, vibrations, pictures moved, cup fell off the table, etc.) in the email body.

If you should experience any damage to your property, please report it to Greenwich Township at 610-756-6707.  If your damage poses an immediate hazard, please call 9-1-1.

Should any further information come to light regarding these events, we will be sure to post that information here and on our Facebook page Kutztown Fire Company Truck Crew.

Thank you for your diligence and cooperation in this matter,

Kutztown Fire Truck Crew

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