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An estimated 4.8 magnitude earthquake rattles New York City

Geoff Weiss   

An estimated 4.8 magnitude earthquake rattles New York City
  • An earthquake rattled the tristate area on Friday morning, shaking from Philadelphia to Boston.
  • It had a magnitude of 4.8 and an epicenter 30 miles west of Newark, New Jersey, per the USGS.

A rare earthquake outside New York City rattled the tristate area on Friday morning.

The United States Geological Survey said the quake struck at 10:23 a.m. ET and had a magnitude of 4.8, with an epicenter about 30 miles west of Newark, New Jersey.

A 2019 report on earthquake mitigation suggests the earthquake would be the third biggest in recorded New Jersey history and the largest in nearly 250 years.

The quake was felt up and down the East Coast, with reports of shaking from Norfolk, Virginia, and Philadelphia to Boston and Maine, USGS geologists said.

In a press briefing, Paul Earle, a USGS seismologist, said millions of people felt the quake.

"A quake this size typically is only going to last a second or two," Earle said. "This is a relatively small quake."

Earle said it was likely there'd be smaller aftershocks in the area and a "small chance there could be another earthquake of similar or larger magnitude." An aftershock could hit weeks or months from now, he added.

Earle advised people to "be prepared" and to "drop, cover, and hold" if there is more strong shaking.

"Make sure for earthquakes like this that you have no objects that can potentially fall on you while you're sleeping," he said.

Jessica Jobe, a USGS research geologist, said it would be unusual for the quake to have left cracks at the surface, based on how deep the earthquake was.

Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said the state had set up an emergency operations center, and Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York said her state was "assessing impacts and any damage that may have occurred."

The New York Police Department said it had received no reports of injuries from the quake, and the New York City Fire Department told Business Insider that it was "still monitoring" the situation.

Ground stops were issued at Newark Liberty International and John F. Kennedy airports, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Flightradar24 said flights bound for Newark were held on Friday morning as workers inspected the runway for damage.

The Holland Tunnel between New York and New Jersey was temporarily held for inspection. It was quickly cleared, and all lanes were open.

At a press conference, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, "At this point, we do not have any reports of major impacts to our infrastructure or injuries."

While earthquakes in New York City are rare, North America is home to some of the world's biggest. In 2011, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit Virginia, marking the last major rattler to hit the East Coast. That quake was felt as far as Toronto.

There were more than 130 earthquakes across the world in the past week with a magnitude greater than 4.5, according to the USGS.

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