Earthquake Jostles New Jersey

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6 Apr 2024 2:30 AM

At 10:23am EDT Friday morning, residents in New Jersey felt some moderate shaking of the earth beneath them. A M4.8 Earthquake struck, with an epicenter in Northeast Hunterdon County, about 8 miles northwest of Bridgewater.

DYFI intensity map

Light to moderate shaking was reported to the USGS near the epicenter and in New York City, with very weak shaking as far as Baltimore, MD, Harrisburg, PA, and Springfield, MA.

Later in the afternoon Friday, an aftershock earthquake occurred in the same location and caused more shaking. The aftershock was a little weaker, but still registered a 3.8.

Earthquakes are not unheard of in this part of the country. In the 18th and 19th centuries, New York City has sustained damage from earthquakes. East Coast damaging quakes come out to a rough average of twice per century. In August of 2011, a M5.8 earthquake struck Northern Virginia, causing shaking from Georgia to New England, and even some minor shaking as far west as Chicago!

East Coast earthquakes are less frequent than on the West Coast, but they can be felt much farther away due to the differences in the rock composition. According to the USGS, "a magnitude 4.0 eastern U.S. earthquake typically can be felt at many places as far as 100 km (60 mi) from where it occurred."

There is still a chance for aftershocks, which are smaller quakes occurring after an initial shock. Statistically speaking, there is a 50% chance of another quake of magnitude 4.0, though that statistic is mainly used for larger earthquakes so aftershocks are more likely to be much weaker.
UPDATE: At 3:59pm EDT, a M4.0 quake did occur, less than two miles east of the original quake.

If there are any further quakes, follow these tips to remain safe!

On the other side of the world, a much larger earthquake hit Taiwan on Wednesday, a Magnitude 7.4. Widespread damage and shaking, as well as a small tsunami were all reported with this earthquake.

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