New Jersey earthquake strongest in over 240 years, 11 aftershocks follow

The rare magnitude 4.8 earthquake, which rattled New Jersey and surrounding states on Friday, was recorded as the strongest in more than 240 years. As many as 11 aftershocks were reported, with magnitudes ranging from 1.8 to 2.0.
New Jersey earthquake strongest in over 240 years, 11 aftershocks follow
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As many as 11 aftershocks jolted parts of New York City and surrounding areas after the region was rattled by a magnitude 4.8 earthquake on Friday, shaking buildings up and down the East Coast and surprising residents in an area that rarely experiences notable seismic activity.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the 4.8 magnitude earthquake was the third-largest earthquake recorded in the area in the last five decades and the strongest in New Jersey in more than 240 years.

The initial tremor was felt just after 10.20 am (US local time), at a depth of 4.7 kilometres (2.9 miles).

An hour after the initial impact, a 2.0 aftershock struck west of Bedminster, New Jersey. At around 12.30 pm, there was a 1.8 magnitude aftershock, another 2.0 aftershock at 1.14 pm, and another 2.0 aftershock shortly before 3 pm, the USGS said.

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New Jersey earthquake strongest in over 240 years, 11 aftershocks follow

Though no major damage was reported, engineering teams were inspecting roads and bridges.

People from Baltimore to Boston reported feeling rumbling and shaking, with some running outside to try to detect the source.

A video shared by EarthCam on X showed the moment the 4.8-magnitude earthquake struck New Jersey and surrounding states.

Addressing a news conference post the tremors, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said, "This is one of the largest earthquakes on the East Coast in the last century."

Later, James Pittinger, mayor of Lebanon, New Jersey, termed the earthquake a "crazy experience" and said, "I was sitting in my home office when things started to fall off the walls and shelves."

Charita Walcott, a 38-year-old resident in the Bronx borough of New York, told CNN the quake felt "like a violent rumble that lasted about 30 seconds or so. It was kind of like being in a drum circle, that vibration."

At the United Nations in midtown Manhattan, the Save the Children CEO abruptly stopped addressing the Security Council on the Israel-Gaza conflict as cameras began shuddering.

"You're making the ground shake," Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour quipped.

Flights were held at area airports in the aftermath of the earthquake but had resumed by 12.30 pm, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Earthquakes in the eastern US are felt across a far broader area because the bedrock is much older and harder, transferring seismic energy more easily, according to the USGS.

The rocks in the western US are younger and contain more faults that absorb earthquake energy.

Friday's tremor was the largest felt in the city since a 5.8-magnitude earthquake in 2011 in Virginia prompted evacuations of City Hall and other buildings, thus causing damage in Washington.

The quake comes just a few months after the USGS warned nearly 75 per cent of the United States could face damaging quakes in the next 100 years.

Earthquake magnitudes are measured on a logarithmic scale, which means the amount of energy released by a quake increases by more than 30 times for each whole number.

A 1989 earthquake that disrupted baseball's World Series and rocked San Francisco was measured at a 6.9 magnitude, which would have made it more than 1,000 times more powerful than Friday's quake.

Source: India Today

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