Magnitude 4.8 Earthquake Shakes East Coast

New Jersey, April 6, 2024

On Friday morning, an earthquake rattled buildings along the US East Coast, from Maryland to Maine. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Lebanon, New Jersey, was the point of impact of the 4.8-magnitude earthquake. Just before noon, at 10:30 a.m. ET, it made landfall. Around six o’clock ET, there was an aftershock of magnitude 4.0.

The morning’s earthquake was the greatest to strike the Northeast in over ten years, according to USGS data.

Significant injuries or damage were not yet reported. Investigations are in progress to make sure that structures, bridges, and other infrastructure have not been harmed, according to local and regional authorities in the impacted cities.

Impact on New York City

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said at a midday news briefing that there were no reports of major injuries or impacts to infrastructure, and that the city’s residents should “go about their normal day.”

According to the website of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), ground stops were issued at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. The disruptions at Newark Airport continued into the afternoon.

The Port Authority Transit Corporation, which operates PATH trains between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, suspended service after the earthquake.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York said its service was not affected, but that crews would be inspecting train lines. Following the earthquake, New Jersey Transit also notified passengers of 20-minute disruptions due to bridge investigations.

Other Affected Areas

The shaking wasn’t just in New Jersey! People in other states up and down the East Coast felt the earthquake too, including Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Just to be cautious, officials in those areas are also checking things out to see if there’s any damage or injuries.

What Experts Say

Frederick J. Simons, a professor of geosciences at Princeton University, told NBC News that the earthquake occurred on a shallow fault system in New Jersey and lasted for about 35 seconds.

Earthquakes on the East Coast can be felt over great distances and can cause more shaking than earthquakes on the West Coast because the rocks in the region are often older, harder and more densely packed.

No Link to Taiwan Earthquake

While a powerful earthquake struck Taiwan just two days before, causing damage and injuries, there’s no connection to the East Coast quake. Experts at the USGS like Dara Goldberg confirm this. He says the distance between the two fault lines is simply too vast for any one to influence the other. In other words, it was just a coincidence!

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