Rare Magnitude 4.8 Earthquake Strikes East Coast

Residents along the East Coast experienced a seismic event on Friday morning when a minor earthquake, registering at least a 4.8 magnitude, occurred near Lebanon, New Jersey. The tremor, which happened at 10:23 a.m., was felt across a wide area, including major cities such as New York City and Philadelphia. The U.S. Geological Survey suggested that the quake’s effects might have reached an estimated 42 million people.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy acknowledged the earthquake’s impact, specifying a preliminary magnitude of 4.7 and its epicenter near Readington in Hunterdon County. He also announced the activation of the State Emergency Operations Center and urged residents to use emergency services judiciously.

Similarly, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro reported that the earthquake was felt in his state and assured residents that emergency teams were evaluating any potential damage. New York Governor Kathy Hochul also responded to the event, noting that her administration was conducting damage assessments and that she personally felt the quake in Albany, highlighting its significance as one of the largest earthquakes to hit the East Coast in a century.

The earthquake’s reach extended beyond New Jersey, with residents in Manhattan, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Hampshire reporting tremors. Individuals shared their experiences of shaking buildings and rattling belongings, emphasizing the widespread nature of the quake. In Norwalk, Connecticut, for instance, Lara Walsh described how the event caused physical disturbances in her home and prompted immediate reactions from her local community.

Despite the significant tremor, the Fire Department of New York and New York Mayor Eric Adams’ spokesperson reported no major damages or impacts immediately following the earthquake. New York City took precautionary measures by alerting residents through cell phone notifications, and temporary disruptions occurred at major transportation hubs, including Newark and John F. Kennedy International airports, as well as the Holland Tunnel, which was later reopened after inspections.

Mayor Adams advised New Yorkers to practice safety measures in case of aftershocks and reassured the public that critical infrastructure was being inspected for potential damage, highlighting the community’s resilience and preparedness in the face of natural events.