A Seismic Event Originating Near New York City Has Shaken The Northeast Region

April 5, 2024


In a rare event for the Northeast, a noticeable earthquake shook the densely populated New York City metropolitan area on Friday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 4.8, was centered near Lebanon, New Jersey—approximately 45 miles west of New York City and 50 miles north of Philadelphia—and was felt by more than 42 million people across the region.

Despite the widespread impact, the Fire Department of New York reported no initial damage. New York Mayor Eric Adams was briefed on the earthquake and stated that while there were no major impacts reported at the time, assessments were ongoing.

In the aftermath of the quake, midtown Manhattan streets momentarily shuddered, amplifying the usual cacophony of traffic as car horns blared. In Brooklyn, residents described hearing booming sounds and feeling their buildings shake. In one Manhattan apartment house, a resident originally from earthquake-prone California helped calm nervous neighbors.

In lower Manhattan, the unexpected earthquake prompted buzz among customers at a local coffee shop, where dishware rattled on concrete counters. “I noticed the door trembling on its frame,” said India Hays, a barista. “I thought surely there couldn’t be an earthquake here.”

Reports of shaking also came from Baltimore, Philadelphia, Connecticut, and other areas in the Northeast, with tremors felt over 200 miles away near the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border.

Governor Kathy Hochul of New York acknowledged that the earthquake was felt throughout the state and assured the public that assessments of impacts and potential damage were underway.

Harlem congressperson Adriano Espallat in a X post to assist any constituents or businesses who may have been affected:

The seismic event evoked memories of the August 23, 2011, earthquake that rattled millions from Georgia to Canada, registering a magnitude of 5.8. It remains the strongest earthquake to hit the East Coast since World War II, with its epicenter located in Virginia. The 2011 quake caused cracks in the Washington Monument, led to the evacuation of the White House and Capitol, and unsettled New Yorkers just weeks before the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks.

Photo credit: HWM. 2) X.

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