Here are notable earthquakes felt in the New York City region

A 4.8-magnitude earthquake rattled New Jersey, New York City, and much of the Northeast on Friday

ByMeredith Deliso ABCNews logo
Friday, April 5, 2024
Explaining the earthquake and fault lines in the Northeast
Meteorologist Dani Beckstrom explains our recent earthquake.

NEW YORK -- A 4.8-magnitude earthquake rattled the New York City region Friday morning - marking one of the strongest earthquakes on the East Coast in the last century, officials said.

The earthquake was centered near Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage, USGS said.

Earthquakes along the Atlantic Seaboard are "uncommon but not unheard of" and tend to be felt by a broader swath of people than those that occur on the West Coast, according to USGS. That's because the rocks in the Earth's crust in the east are older and more rigid, causing seismic energy to travel more efficiently, according to the agency.

Here's a look at notable earthquakes to impact the region:


A 5.2-magnitude earthquake on Dec. 19, 1737, in the greater NYC area caused chimneys to fall, according to the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management (OEM). It measured at an intensity of VII on the Mercalli Intensity Scale, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).


The strongest earthquake to impact New Jersey occurred on Nov. 30, 1783, west of NYC, according to NJ OEM. The 5.3-magnitude, intensity VII quake was felt from New Hampshire to Pennsylvania and also knocked down chimneys, the agency said.

RELATED: Reactions to the earthquake from around the Tri-State area


A 5.5-magnitude earthquake in New York City on Aug. 10, 1884, was felt from Virginia to Maine, according to NJ DEP. The VII-intensity quake toppled chimneys in NYC and New Jersey, the agency said. The epicenter of the quake was later determined to be in Brooklyn, according to the National Museum of American History, which noted that there was extensive newspaper coverage of the incident at the time.

Records from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University cite the earthquake as 5.2 magnitude.


A 4.1-magnitude earthquake near High Bridge, New Jersey, on Sept. 1, 1895, was felt "over a considerable distance" to the Northeast and Southwest, according to NJ OEM.


A 4.0-magnitude earthquake in Ardsley, New York, on Oct. 19, 1985, was felt by many in the NYC area, according to NJ OEM.


Tens of millions of people along the East Coast felt the effects of a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that occurred near Mineral, Virginia, on Aug. 23, 2011, according to USGS. It was felt from Georgia to southern Canada, according to NJ OEM. The quake was the strongest in the eastern U.S. since a 5.8-magnitude earthquake in 1944 near Cornwall, New York, according to USGS.

nyc earthquake
FILE Office workers gather on a sidewalk after their building was evacuated following an earthquake in New York on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011.
Mark Lennihan


Shaking was felt from Maine to Washington, D.C., after a 4.8-magnitude earthquake struck near Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, on Friday, according to USGS. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul called it "one of the largest earthquakes on the East Coast in the last century." That level of magnitude is not expected to result in much damage, according to USGS.

Chief Meteorologist Lee Goldberg will cover the eclipse from Syracuse, New York, while meteorologist Brittany Bell will be reporting from Niagara Falls.

Plus we invite you to watch ABC News and National Geographic's "Eclipse Across America" live on April 8 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT on ABC, ABC News Live, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Disney+ and Hulu.


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