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Rare 4.8 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes The East Coast, Felt Through New York and New Jersey

Source: Instagram/dantvusa / Andrew Kelley

On Friday, a relatively rare magnitude 4.8 earthquake shook New Jersey, causing tremors to be felt across the New York region. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the earthquake reverberated through New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

As of now, there have been no reports of injuries or damages.

The Epicenter of the Earthquake Was In New Jersey

At 10:23 Eastern time, the earthquake hit approximately 40 miles southwest of Manhattan.

Source: USGS

The epicenter was located less than one mile northwest of the unincorporated community of Oldwick in New Jersey.

New Jersey Activated The State Emergency Operations Center

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said, “We have activated our State Emergency Operations Center. Please do not call 911 unless you have an actual emergency.”

Source: Pexels/Jochem te Pas

Residents reported experiencing shaking floors and furniture.

No Reports of Any Major Damage

In an interview with MSNBC, the mayor of Lebanon, New Jersey, James Pittinger said about the earthquake, “the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced.” Mayor Pittinger added that he hadn’t received any reports of significant damages yet.

Source: USGS

Pittinger also mentioned that the tremors startled his dog who ran for cover as objects toppled off the shelves.

Governor Hochul Posted on X

New York Governor Kathy Hochul acknowledged the fact that the tremors were felt across the state. Hochul wrote in a post on X, “A 4.8 magnitude earthquake hit west of Manhattan and has been felt throughout New York.”

Source: X/GovKathyHochul

Hochul added, “My team is assessing impacts and any damage that may have occurred, and we will update the public throughout the day.”

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano Said The City Hall Was Shaking

The Mayor of Yonkers, in Westchester County, New York wrote on X, “City Hall was shaking and everyone here is fine. Please call 911 if anyone is hurt or experiencing structural damage.”

Source: Wikimedia/Jim.henderson

Yonkers also advised residents, “Check in on your elderly neighbors and your pets. Our @YonkersPD, Fire, DPW and Parks are working together to assess any damage.”

Chris Christie’s Entire House Was Shaking

Talking about the impact of the earthquake, the former Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, said, “A few moments ago our entire house shook for about 25 seconds or so here in Mendham, NJ.”

Source: Charles Krupa

The effects of the earthquake were felt as far away as Cambridge, Massachusetts which is approximately 250 miles away from the epicenter.

A Violent Rumble

According to a 38-year-old Bronx resident, Charita Walcott, the earthquake was “like a violent rumble that lasted about 30 seconds or so.”

Source: Pexels/Joana Miriam

Adding an amusing analogy Walcott said, “It was kind of like being in a drum circle, that vibration.”

The Size of This Earthquake Was Atypical

Dr. Chuck Ver Straeten, a geologist and sedimentary rocks curator at the New York State Museum told USA TODAY that he wasn’t surprised at all by the fact that the earthquake occurred in the impacted regions.

Source: Pexels/Lukas Kloeppel

Ver Straeten said, “New York, around New York City going into New Jersey, there’s a lot of earthquakes historically down there. Happens every year.” However, what he finds surprising is the magnitude of the earthquake. It is unusual for the regions to experience high magnitude earthquakes.

Is This The Precursor to A Much Bigger Earthquake?

Ver Straeten explained that earthquakes in the impacted regions are generally quite mild and unlikely to be felt by residents.

Source: Pexels

Ver Straeten has also been questioning if this was just a precursor to a much bigger and far more destructive earthquake.

Earthquakes Are Often Highly Unpredictable

Ver Straeten said, “You never know what is the earthquake, what is a pre-earthquake, what is an earthquake happening after the main earthquake, you just have to see.”

Source: Pexels

Ver Straeten added, “One slip along the rock fault, when one happens, it makes other areas around there more tense also and they start to slip and you slip again and slip again.”

It Is Unlikely That Another Larger Earthquake Will Occur Any Time Soon

Despite the speculations, Ver Straeten said that it is highly unlikely that the recent earthquake would be followed by a much larger one.

Source: Pexels/Magda Ehlers

In the Northeast part of the county, it is a lot more usual for a large earthquake to be followed by relatively smaller aftershocks, instead of a sequence of increasingly intensifying tremors.

PATCO Services Have Been Impacted

PATCO wrote on X, “Due to the earthquake in our area, all PATCO service is suspended at this time. Crews will inspect the integrity of the line out of an abundance of caution.”

Source: X/RidePATCO

The post also said, “Once inspection is complete, service will resume. No timeframe. Updates to follow.”

Pennsylvania Is Also Monitoring the Situation

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro acknowledged the earthquake saying, “A 4.8 magnitude earthquake hit New Jersey and was felt in parts of Pennsylvania.”

Source: Pexels/Kelly

Shapiro also said, “My team and @PEMAHQ are actively monitoring the situation and in contact with counties on any damage. We will keep Pennsylvanians updated.”

Rattling Shelves in Connecticut

Norwalk, Connecticut resident Lara Walsh talked about her experience of the earthquake saying, “My group chat for Rowayton paddle tennis team exploded when we all said, ‘what was that,’ and came to the conclusion it was definitely an earthquake.”

Source: Pexels/UMUT DAĞLI

Walsh added, “I thought my furnace was exploding, because it was a loud sound. Some thought it was a plane above.” Walsh’s house was shaken by the earthquake and the shelves in her house rattled during the tremors.

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Sally Reed

Written by Sally Reed

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