Some Canadian Glass Companies are Busier than Usual After Ontario-Quebec Earthquake
June 24, 2010

The U.S. Geological Survey reported a magnitude 5.0 earthquake struck the Ontario-Quebec border region yesterday, and now some glass companies in the area are finding themselves busy working to repair damages. The earthquake, which had a depth of about 12 miles, was about 35 miles from Ottawa and 30 miles from Gatineau, Quebec (CLICK HERE to read more details about the earthquake).

John Wise, senior estimator with Ottawa Glass in Ottawa, said they had received a number of calls this morning about cracked glass and mirrors.

"There was also a high-rise in the downtown area that had several pieces of glass fall out," said Wise, adding that the quake was not nearly as disastrous as it could have been. Wise said in his estimation shops in the area are most likely receiving anywhere from two to ten calls as a result of the earthquake.

"I would estimate that there were anywhere from 100-200 instances of glass breakage [because of the earthquake] in the entire Ottawa Valley region," said Wise.

In the case of an earthquake, unlike in instances of hurricanes, there really is no way for glass companies to prepare.

"You try and have as much glass as you can in stock," says Wise. "As far as the manpower and scheduling, you take the jobs you already have booked that might not be as critical and hope the customer will allow you to postpone [that work] so you can take on the others that may be dangerous."

But not all companies have been as busy. Greg Gaudreau, vice president and general manager of M&T Glass in Ottawa, said for his company yesterday's earthquake has not had a large impact on business.

"In North America buildings are constructed to withstand a 6 magnitude shake lasting about 45 seconds," he said, explaining that yesterday's quake lasted about 30 seconds.

"The [glass] damage has been minor here. There were a few pieces of broken glass in buildings," Gaudreau said. "It was a pretty wicked shake, though; it's the sound that gets you. It sounds like jets are flying right over head."™ contacted a number of glass companies in the Montreal area for comment as well, but businesses there are closed in honor of Quebec National Day.

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