Minor earthquake in New Jersey – Felt in New York City and Philadelphia – September 9, 2020
A Magnitude 3.1, centered near Freehold, New Jersey, shook parts of the New York City and Philadelphia area on Wednesday morning. The quake was felt weakly in parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn and southern and western parts of NYC. Due to the rather large felt area and high intensity, which is typical for East Coast quakes, this event was felt stronger and wider than other quakes of the same size, for example in California. However, no damage from this quake is expected but minor aftershocks around Magnitude 2 are possible. These could affect places within 10 km of the epicenter.
The depth of the quake, currently given as 5 km by USGS, has not been manually located yet. So the quake parameters might change as soon as more manual data revision has been done.
Although New York City and nearby areas rarely feel any earthquake, the states on the East Coast including NY and NJ have experience several small and even large quakes in the past, resulting from very old fault lines that strike across the area. Small quakes like today are a good reminder that even larger damaging quakes happen now and then, although they can’t tell us anything about the time of future events.