Won-Young Kim, who runs the seismographic network for the Northeast at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said the city is well overdue for a big earthquake.
From Metro New York:
The last big quake to hit New York City was a 5.3-magnitude tremor in 1884 that happened at sea in between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook. While no one was killed, buildings were damaged.
Kim said the city is likely to experience a big earthquake every 100 years or so.
“It can happen anytime soon,” Kim said. “We can expect it any minute, we just don’t know when and where.”
New York has never experienced a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake, which are the most dangerous. But magnitude 5 quakes could topple brick buildings and chimneys.
Seismologist John Armbruster said a magnitude 5 quake that happened now would be more devastating than the one that happened in 1884.
“Today, with so many more buildings and people … we’d see billions in damage,” Armbruster said. “People would probably be killed.”