East Coast Rocked by Rare, Strong Quake

 April 7, 2024

Friday morning brought an unexpected jolt to the New York City area. Readington Township, New Jersey, was at the epicenter of a 4.8-magnitude earthquake.

The seismic event, one of the strongest to hit the East Coast in a century, caused minor damages and sparked a series of aftershocks across the region.

CBS News reported that the quake struck at 10:23 a.m., sending reverberations through homes and businesses. This marked a historic moment for a region unaccustomed to such natural occurrences. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded 32 aftershocks following the initial tremor, with one reaching a magnitude of 3.8. While centered in New Jersey, these aftershocks were felt across the East Coast, prompting seismologists to predict the continuation of such tremors for up to a week.

A preliminary assessment revealed that the earthquake and its succeeding aftershocks caused no injuries or major damages. However, the event was significant enough to cause cracks in a Brooklyn middle school gym, which was deemed unsafe in the aftermath. Other minor damages were reported, such as a fallen tree, parts of the Historic Grist Mill in Readington collapsing, and several incidents of gas leaks throughout the affected areas.

Community and Infrastructure Impacted

Newark, New Jersey, experienced power outages and the temporary displacement of residents from three homes, which were attributed directly to the quake's effects. Furthermore, a water main break in Randolph, New Jersey, was also blamed on the seismic activity. These events led to questions regarding the responsiveness of New York City's emergency services, with an emergency alert being dispatched approximately 25 minutes after the earthquake occurred.

Amid the chaos, some local businesses saw an opportunity, creating memorabilia that boasted, "I survived the New York City earthquake," capturing the blend of fear and resilience that marked the day.

Dax Soule, a seismologist, provided perspective on the situation:

While aftershocks are a concern for this first 24, 36, 72-hour period out to about a week, the entire East Coast is a seismically active area. But most of the earthquakes are relatively small.

Residents recounted the moment vividly, describing the sudden and overwhelming nature of the earthquake. Mary Heidersberger, a local, explained her experience in dramatic detail.

It sounded like 10 freight trains going at the same time, and I heard, it felt like the house jumped, and then I thought, 'What was that?' And then it started to shake.

Varying Reactions to the Quake

Anne Owen described the event as terrifying, likening it to the sound of a bomb going off. The immediate aftermath saw communities banding together, assessing damage, and planning for potential future aftershocks. Lisa Narcisse described witnessing a water main break in Randolph as like "a fountain, like a geyser. Just water spewing up," highlighting the unexpected and often surreal circumstances brought about by the earthquake.

Zachary Iscol commented on the efficiency of the city's response, stating, "Twenty minutes is very, very fast for a public notification." This viewpoint offers a reminder of the challenges inherent in managing such unpredictable natural events.

As inspections continued into Saturday, power was restored to affected homes in Newark, allowing families to return. The city and its residents began to breathe easier, albeit with an eye toward the possibility of more aftershocks in the coming days.


The 4.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the New York City area, centered in Readington Township, New Jersey, caused minor physical damage and served as a stark reminder of the region's vulnerability to seismic activities. Despite this, the absence of serious injuries and the swift response from emergency services demonstrated resilience and preparedness. The aftershocks, continuing impacts, and the community's reaction to this event will be remembered as a significant episode in the East Coast's history of natural disasters.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

Top Articles



Receive information on new articles posted, important topics and tips.
Join Now
We won't send you spam. 
Unsubscribe at any time.

Recent Articles

Recent Analysis

Copyright © 2024 - CapitalismInstitute.org
A Project of Connell Media.