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Did Acadiana feel effects of Tuesday's earthquake?

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Posted at 6:36 PM, Jan 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 19:46:45-05

Following Tuesday's 7.7 magnitude earthquake near Jamaica, there are questions if the effects were felt here in Acadiana.

Robert Guillory said on Tuesday afternoon, he knew something was off. "I've been here 25 years and I've never experienced anything like that."

After the initial shock wore off, Guillory took out his phone to record the pool water sloshing onto the deck at Riverside Swim Club.

"It resembled a wave pool at a water park. Water was just shooting over the top of the deck right there," Guillory said.

He's managed the pool for years. On Tuesday, he was working around the pool and said the water was initially still because the pump was off. When the waves kicked up, the pool skimmer covers popped off. Not knowing what was happening, Guillory called a friend.

"The guy I spoke to said Lafayette is having an earthquake," Guillory said.

The United States Geological Survey confirms to KATC what Guillory experienced is common. In Louisiana alone, at least five people have reported feeling the quake. Experts say when there is a large earthquake, people far away typically won't feel it, but they will see pools or other bodies of water move.

"As you can imagine, it really disturbs the surface of the earth and sends out big ripples over the whole surface of the earth," said Dr. Gary Kinsland, a geologist and UL professor.

Kinsland said ripples from the quake impact the behavior of water.

"It will cause a little bit of motion on that body. Then, it will add to it, add to it, add to it. It's just like you drop a pebble in a pond," Kinsland said. "These ripples expand and they expand with the wiggling of the earth. It's nice to see that people paid attention."