2.3, 1.7 magnitude earthquakes hit northern New Jersey

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Wednesday, August 31, 2022
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A pair of small earthquakes hit Morris County, New Jersey Tuesday evening, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

MORRIS COUNTY, New Jersey (WABC) -- A pair of earthquakes hit northern New Jersey Tuesday evening, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The first, a 2.3 magnitude earthquake, struck just before 5:15 p.m.

A USGS geophysicist told Eyewitness News the epicenter of the earthquake just just under six miles northwest of Morris Plains.

The quake was estimated to have a depth of approximately five kilometers, which is a little more than three miles in length.

A 1.7 magnitude earthquake was then reported shortly after 6:30 p.m., also in Morris County. The second quake was an aftershock to the first one, according to the USGS.

While earthquakes are relatively uncommon in the area, a 3.1 magnitude earthquake was reported near Freehold, New Jersey in September of 2020, while a 2.5 magnitude earthquake shook residents of central New Jersey in August of 2015.

On Aug 23, 2011, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake in central Virginia shook buildings in the Garden State.

Additionally, the USGS listed over a dozen reported earthquakes between 1979 to 2017.

"The seismic activity is unusual for the folks living in the area, but it is well within what we would expect in that geologic setting," USGS geophysicist Rafael Abreu Paris said.

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