12/22/2011 06:33 EST | Updated 02/21/2012 05:12 EST

Quebec residents near earthquake claims deadline

Quebec residents have until Friday to submit claims to the province for damage caused by the 5.2-magnitude earthquake 18 months ago.

The June 2010 quake south of Echo Lake, Que., 60 kilometres north of Ottawa near the Ontario border, was felt across southern and eastern Ontario and western Quebec, as well as in some U.S. states.

After insurers refused to pay for the cost of damages, calling the earthquake an act of God, the province stepped in to assist, setting Friday as the deadline for claim submissions.

Mayor Real Rochon of Gracefield, Que., said he has been telling residents in his community to make one final check to ensure their homes do not have hidden damage.

Homes destroyed or had to be demolished

The community, near the epicentre, was particularly hard hit. Three homes were destroyed or had to be demolished. The chimney at the Notre-Dame-de-la-Visitation church fell, taking part of the roof with it.

The ceiling of the Gracefield community centre also collapsed.

Rochon said cracks were not revealed at one house until a rainstorm long after the quake. That house has since replaced the foundation and basement.

Gracefield resident Jean-Guy Sevigny said he thought a plane was crashing into his garage when the quake rolled through the community. It knocked him off his feet and his house off its moorings.

He said after more than $100,000 in repairs, his house now sits three metres north of its original location.