The first hint that an earthquake rumbled the area on Friday night came in a call to Guernsey County Sheriff Jeff Paden's staff as something else entirely: An attempted burglary.
The emergency 911 dispatcher took the call at 11:08 p.m. from a terrified Noble County woman.
"She was whispering and said that a burglar was trying to break into her house," Dispatcher Steve Schubert said.
He was able to connect her to the Noble County Sheriff's Office, but then the deluge of calls began.
"We received multiple calls," said Sheriff Paden, adding that they later learned from the U.S. Geological Survey that an earthquake had struck the area, emanating from somewhere southwest of Barnesville. The epicenter may have been in the vicinity of the Whiskey Run Golf Course, near Batesville in Noble County.
According to the USGS, the quake registered a 3.4 magnitude on the Richter scale and occurred at an underground depth of about 3 miles.
The USGS says that earthquakes of magnitudes of 3.0 to 3.9 typically are felt by only a few people on the upper floors of multi-story buildings.
But that was not the case in this instance. Schubert said 911 calls were still coming in when he got off duty at midnight. They came from residents in Batesville, Byesville, Cumberland, but, mostly, in the Quaker City area.
A few Cambridge residents also felt the quake.
"I was trying to fall asleep a little after 11 p.m. when the bed and some things on my wall started to shake," Dana Davis said. "My kitten, Rosa, began to meow loudly and hid under the blanket. After a few seconds, the shaking stopped and I went downstairs to ask my dad if he had felt anything."
A pair of deputies at the Pritchard Laughlin Civic Center also reported feeling the tremors.
A Cumberland resident reported lying in a bedroom and felt the sensation as if someone were running in the hallway.
A Senecaville citizen thought a vehicle had struck his house and he went outside to check, but found nothing out of the ordinary.
In Byesville, one resident reported that it felt as if the entire house was shaking — a sensation that seemed to last about 10 seconds. Another resident reported being awakened by the shaking while a neighbor heard crack-like sound and felt the house shaking for about five seconds.
Over in Quaker City, a resident thought that a tree had fallen on the house. She was standing in the kitchen and had to brace herself against the wall because the house was shaking so violently. It frightened her brothers and her mother came running in from the living room. She thought that the shaking lasted for about seven seconds.
"We got multiple calls from people in the Quaker City area who thought there had been a large explosion," said Schubert, adding that an off-duty deputies drove around checking oil well sites in the Quaker City area.
Despite the scare, there were no reports of damage.
According to the USGS, this was the second earthquake in southeastern Ohio in past several weeks. Another occurred on May 24 in McArthur, which is in Vinton County. It also registered 3.4 on the Richter scale.
An earthquake of that size, according to the USGS, may create vibrations similar to those caused by a passing semi-tractor trailer.
Or, perhaps, it might feel like a burglar trying to break into one's house.