‘My whole house shook’: Overnight 3.1 magnitude earthquake rocks parts of New Jersey
Posted: Sep 09, 2020 9:17 AM MDT Updated: Sep 09, 2020 3:09 PM MDT
The United States Geological Survey has confirmed a 3.1 magnitude earthquake struck New Jersey early Wednesday morning, with the epicenter near Freehold.
Monmouth County 911 dispatch centers were flooded with calls around 2 a.m. as people were awoken by rumbling and shaking in their beds.
“My whole house shook,” one caller said. “Yeah, we felt it here in Freehold,” the dispatcher replied.
Other callers thought there was a crash or explosion.
The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Department says the office fielded 125 calls about the quake in just 30 minutes.
Eventually the USGS confirmed around 3 a.m. that the shaking was caused by an earthquake. While the epicenter was around the Freehold area, the effects of the quake were felt as far away as New York City and Philadelphia.
Monmouth University Geology Professor Michael Tarullo says that it is unusual for an earthquake to happen in New Jersey this time of the year.
“I don’t do an earthquake lecture until five or six weeks from now,” Tarullo says.
Tarullo says that a 3.1 magnitude earthquake may not be larger in other parts of the country and the world. But for New Jersey, it is unusual.
“A 3.1 earthquake here in New Jersey is like a 7 or 8 in L.A. It’s not common and it’s certainly not common in the area where this one occurred,” Tarullo says. “In North Jersey, there are still some active faults we can see at the surface, like the Ramapo fault.”
Tarullo says that he wouldn’t expect to see another earthquake hit the Freehold area again for quite some time.
Anyone who felt the earthquake can fill out a survey on the USGS website to describe what they felt.