Historic Quake Shakes the Northeast, No Major Injuries Reported

 April 5, 2024

A moderate earthquake struck Bridgewater, New Jersey, causing concern across the Northeast.

On April 5, 2024, a notable earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.8 struck near Bridgewater, New Jersey. This event marked the strongest seismic activity the state has seen in 240 years.

According to Fox Weather, the tremor was felt widely, with over 160,000 reports of shaking extending to New York City and surrounding areas. Fortunately, there have been no reports of significant damage or injuries.

This event, recorded at 10:23 a.m. EDT, marked a significant moment in New Jersey's geological history and set a precedent for the New York City area as the most substantial earthquake felt since 1884. The U.S. Geological Survey pinpointed the earthquake's origin 8 miles northeast of Bridgewater, noting several aftershocks, the largest being a magnitude 2.2.

Exploring Aftershocks and Structural Integrity

Pat Abbott, a geologist from San Diego State, expands on the commonality of aftershocks following such an event.

Definitely — you never have just one earthquake. Once the Earth has fractured in some place and moved, that means it’s moved a lot of stress forward, which is going to cause adjoining areas to move as well.

I would expect one or two aftershocks that you would feel — it won’t be as much damage, it won’t be felt by as many people, but there will be more aftershocks.

The aftermath of this quake prompted a thorough evaluation of the area's infrastructure. New York City's buildings are under inspection to ascertain their structural integrity, revealing no significant damages thus far.

Nevertheless, a few homes in Newark faced evacuation due to safety concerns, underlining the quake's undeniable impact on residents and infrastructure.

The Community Responds to Unprecedented Shaking

The tremors triggered an immediate reaction from local authorities. New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued advisories on safety and precaution, emphasizing the importance of being prepared for potential aftershocks. Their statements were immediate and aimed at ensuring public safety in the quake's wake.

The quake's repercussions stretched to airports and transport services, causing a temporary standstill. Newark Liberty International Airport and John F. Kennedy Airport faced brief halts, while United Airlines took measures to mitigate customer worries by waiving change fees. Traffic inspections, notably through the Holland Tunnel, and a slight delay in NJ Transit rail services were enacted to ensure public safety.

Furthermore, public utilities managed to hold steady amidst the quake. Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G) confirmed their infrastructure sustained no damage, highlighting the resilience of the region's utility services against natural disturbances.

Looking Ahead: The Probability of Aftershocks

Seismologists remain vigilant, forecasting a heightened probability of further aftershocks. This expectation sets a somber tone, indicating that while the initial quake may have passed, its repercussions could still unfold. The community is thus advised to stay alert, understanding that the ground beneath them may not yet have settled.

In conclusion, the earthquake near Bridgewater, New Jersey, is a stark reminder of our planet's unpredictable nature. Despite the absence of significant damage or injuries, the event's historic magnitude and widespread effect across the Northeast urge reevaluating preparedness for natural disasters. The community's prompt response and adherence to safety guidelines underscore the importance of unity and vigilance in the face of unexpected challenges.

About Victor Winston

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

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