4.8 magnitude earthquake strikes New Jersey, shaking buildings in surrounding states

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East Coast residents felt the earth move Friday morning as a minor earthquake hit New Jersey and was felt in surrounding areas, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The earthquake measured at least 4.8 magnitude and struck near Lebanon, New Jersey, at 10:23 a.m., about 45 miles west of New York City and 50 miles north of Philadelphia, according to USGS. An estimate indicates the quake might have been felt by more than 42 million people in 14 states from Maine to North Carolina. More than 152,000 Americans reported feeling shaking to the USGS.
“Our region just experienced an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.7, with an epicenter near Readington in Hunterdon County,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement. “We have activated our State Emergency Operations Center. Please do not call 911 unless you have an actual emergency.
A 2.0 magnitude aftershock was recorded about five miles west of Bedminster, N.J., at 11:20 a.m., USGS officials said.
“A 4.8 magnitude earthquake hit New Jersey and was felt in parts of Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said. “My team and @PEMAHQ are actively monitoring the situation and in contact with counties on any damage. We will keep Pennsylvanians updated.”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul issued a similar statement and said her team “will update the public throughout the day.” At a press conference, Hochul said she felt the earthquake in the state capital of Albany.
“This is one of the largest earthquakes on the East Coast to occur in the last century. So I immediately directed my emergency management team the second we received word of this to start doing damage assessments,” Hochul said.
Several people on social media commented that they felt the earth shake in Manhattan and surrounding areas. Some reported feeling tremors in Connecticut, Rhode Island and as far north as Vermont and New Hampshire.
Lara Walsh, a resident of Norwalk, Connecticut, said shelves rattled and her house shook. “My group chat for Rowayton paddle tennis team exploded when we all said, ‘what was that,’ and came to the conclusion it was definitely an earthquake,” Walsh told Fox News Digital.
“I thought my furnace was exploding, because it was a loud sound. Some thought it was a plane above,” Walsh said.
Mark Block, who lives in Trumbull, Conn., said he felt the earthquake “pretty strongly” in his area.
“What first sounded like our furnace rumbling was quickly replaced by glasses clinking and pictures shaking. Never felt anything like it in 63 years here,” Block said.
New Jersey resident David Hofreiter said his whole house in Whitehouse Station “shook very strongly” for about 30 seconds.
“Wall mounted TVs shook and moved and pictures were moved out of place. Some things in the house were knocked off of shelves,” Hofreiter said. “Throughout the whole event there was an odd sound that I can’t describe. All the neighbors came out of their houses and gathered to discuss what had happened. We have no damage to our home or property, but it was scary.
The Fire Department of New York said there were no initial reports of damage. New York City emergency services sent a cell phone alert to residents on Friday morning.
Flights at the Newark and John F. Kennedy International airports were temporarily halted and have now resumed. The Holland Tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey was temporarily closed for inspection and has been reopened, authorities said.
“I encourage all New Yorkers to check on your loved ones, and if you feel an aftershock, drop to the floor, cover your head and neck, and take cover under a solid piece of furniture, next to an interior wall, or in a doorway,” Mayor Adams said in a statement.
“So far no major life safety issues reported, no reported infrastructure issues, but we will continue our inspections of critical infrastructure.”
At a press conference, the mayor encouraged New Yorkers to return to their day as normal. School operations and afters chool programs will continue as planned, officials said.
New York Buildings Commissioner Jimmy Otto asked construction professionals to check on the city’s 1.1 million buildings and determine if those sites are secure, reporting any “troublesome” conditions to his department.
“You need to go out and check on your buildings, even if those sites are closed,” Otto said. “This is a time for that tired and true saying, if you see something, say something.”
Friday’s earthquake was the strongest to hit New Jersey in more than a century, according to Josh Dozor, a former Deputy Assistant Administrator of FEMA.
“Earthquakes are relatively rare on the East Coast compared to regions like the West Coast due to several geological factors,” Dozor told Fox News Digital. He explained that the East Coast is situated in the middle of a tectonic plate, unlike the West Coast, which sits on a tectonic boundary and where earthquakes are more common.
“With that, the 4.8 earthquake that was felt in the Northeast this morning is a very rare occurrence. Although we have seen smaller earthquakes on the East Coast over the years, the estimated 4.8 magnitude earthquake would be the strongest to occur in New Jersey in nearly 250 years,” Dozor said.
“While earthquakes are uncommon in this region, it is imperative that individuals and businesses stay prepared as these natural disasters can occur at any given moment. If you feel an earthquake, you should drop, cover, and hold on and make sure to stay away from any heavy furniture.

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