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April 5, 2024
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Earthquake hits New Jersey, New York City area, felt across northeast

The United States Geological Survey reported that a magnitude-4.8 earthquake struck with its epicenter near Lebanon, New Jersey. The tremor, felt at approximately 10:20 local time (15:20 GMT), lasted for about 20-30 seconds. Social media platforms buzzed with reports of shaking extending from Philadelphia to coastal areas.

During the quake, a UN Security Council meeting on Gaza, convened at its New York headquarters, was briefly interrupted. “Is that an earthquake?” Save the Children representative Janti Soeripto exclaimed during her address.

While there were no major damages reported, operations at JFK and Newark airports were halted momentarily for runway inspections. In New York City, buildings in Brooklyn and the Bronx shook, unsettling residents. Charita Walcott, a Bronx resident, likened the experience to a “violent rumble lasting about 30 seconds.”

Fabien Levy, representing the New York Mayor’s office, stated that officials were evaluating the situation. Governor Kathy Hochul of New York assured the public that no significant damage or injuries were recorded but cautioned about potential aftershocks.

Though earthquakes are rare on the East Coast, history notes significant events. A 5.1 magnitude quake occurred near Newcomb, New York, in 1983, and in 1884, New York City experienced a 5.0 magnitude tremor. Notably, in 2011, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia shook the entire East Coast, prompting evacuations in New York City and Washington DC. The region’s seismic activity is attributed to the Ramapo Fault, traversing from the Appalachian mountains through New Jersey, and several smaller fault lines beneath Manhattan Island.

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