Rare Magnitude-4.8 Earthquake Strikes New York Area in rare seismic event for region

The earthquake was felt across New York City, New Jersey, northern Pennsylvania and western Connecticut

Earthquake Shakes New York City and Surrounding Regions

In an unexpected turn of events, a magnitude-4.8 earthquake jolted the New York City region, sending shockwaves through buildings and leaving residents bewildered in an area where such seismic activity is a rarity.

The seismic event occurred on a crisp Friday morning, with its epicenter pinpointed near Lebanon, New Jersey, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reports. Precisely at 10:23 am, the tremor struck approximately 72 kilometers west of the bustling New York City and 80km north of the historical city of Philadelphia, burrowing at a depth of 4.7km beneath the Earth’s surface.

This geological surprise was felt far and wide, spanning New York City, New Jersey, the northern stretches of Pennsylvania, and the western regions of Connecticut. Eyewitness accounts from Reuters journalists and an outpouring of reactions on social media platforms confirmed the widespread impact of the quake. According to estimates by the USGS, the tremor’s reach potentially extended to over 42 million individuals.

In a moment of abrupt interruption at the United Nations headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, Save the Children CEO Janti Soeripto was compelled to pause her speech addressing the Security Council on the Israel-Gaza conflict as the cameras around her began to tremble. Questioning the disturbance, she inquired, “Is it an earthquake?” before proceeding with her address amidst a chorus of earthquake alerts buzzing from diplomats’ phones. Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour lightened the atmosphere with a quip, “You’re making the ground shake.”

Residents across the affected area shared their experiences, with Charita Walcott from the Bronx describing the earthquake as “a violent rumble that lasted about 30 seconds or so,” likening it to the reverberating sensation of being amidst a drum circle.

I Survived The NYC Earthquake April 5th 2024 Shirt Sweatshirt
I Survived The NYC Earthquake April 5th 2024 Shirt Sweatshirt

Despite the widespread alarm, New York City’s emergency notification system later confirmed via a social media post that no significant damage or injuries had been reported within the city. New York Governor Kathy Hochul, in a subsequent news conference, cautioned about the potential for aftershocks while announcing that engineering teams were already on the ground assessing the integrity of roads and bridges in the aftermath of the quake.

This rare seismic event serves as a reminder of the unpredictability of natural phenomena and the importance of preparedness in the face of such surprises.

An Unprecedented Event A Major Earthquake Shakes the Eastern Seaboard

“In an event that is being described as one of the most significant seismic activities to hit the east coast in the last hundred years, a major earthquake sent shockwaves through the region, leaving cities from Baltimore to Boston in a state of alert,” announced a spokesperson with a grave tone.

During a press conference, New York City Mayor Eric Adams conveyed a message of calm and resilience. He confirmed that, thankfully, there had been no immediate reports of injuries following the quake. Mayor Adams issued guidance for residents, advising them to seek protection under sturdy furniture, within doorframes, or beside internal walls should they experience any further tremors. He emphasized, “New Yorkers should continue with their day as usual, maintaining vigilance and preparedness.”

The tremor, which was felt across a wide swath of the east coast, sparked concern and curiosity among the populace. Many individuals, experiencing the rumbling and shaking, hastily exited their buildings in an attempt to identify the cause of the disturbance.


The response from the highest level of government was swift, with the White House issuing a statement that President Joe Biden had been promptly briefed on the situation. It was made clear that President Biden was actively communicating with federal, state, and local authorities to gather more information and coordinate any necessary response efforts.

The impact of the earthquake was significant enough to disrupt air travel, leading to temporary suspensions and comprehensive evaluations of infrastructure by airport crews, aiming to assess and mitigate any damages caused by the quake.

This recent seismic event brought back memories of the 2011 earthquake in Virginia, which was of a 5.8 magnitude. That particular earthquake had also prompted evacuations across New York City, including at City Hall, and resulted in noticeable damages in Washington, D.C. This historical context adds a layer of complexity and concern as the affected communities begin to assess the aftermath and consider the implications of this most recent tremor.