Magnitude 4.7 earthquake hits New York City region, USGS says

Magnitude 4.7 earthquake hits New York City region, USGS says

Manhattan midtown skyline. Buildings in the city shook in a 4.8-magnitude earthquake on Friday. — AFP
  • Quake’s epicenter was near Whitehouse Station, New Jersey: USGS.
  • Flights likely to be held for New York City airports until noon: FAA.
  • Holland Tunnel to be temporarily closed for inspection: port authority.

A 4.7-magnitude earthquake struck the New York City region on Friday morning, according to the US Geological Survey, shaking buildings and surprising residents in an area that rarely experiences notable seismic activity.

The quake’s epicenter was near Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, the USGS said. No damage was immediately reported.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre initially measured the quake at 5.5 magnitude on the Richter scale.

The earthquake was felt across the region, including in New York City, New Jersey, northern Pennsylvania and western Connecticut, according to Reuters journalists and social media.

Charita Walcott, a 38-year-old resident in the Bronx borough of New York, said the quake felt “like a violent rumble that lasted about 30 seconds or so.”

“It was kind of like being in a drum circle, that vibration,” she said.


At the United Nations in midtown Manhattan, the Save the Children CEO abruptly stopped addressing the Security Council on the Israel-Gaza conflict as cameras began shuddering.

“You’re making the ground shake,” Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour quipped.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told airlines they can expect flights to be held for New York City airports until noon because of the earthquake and delays of 30-45 minutes. Some flights bound for New York diverted to other airports, according to the tracking website FlightAware.

“Air traffic operations are resuming as quickly as possible,” the FAA said.

The busy Holland Tunnel, one of three major Hudson River crossings between New York City and New Jersey, will be temporarily closed for inspection, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said.

The governors of New York and New Jersey posted on social media platform X that they were mounting emergency responses. New York City Mayor Eric Adams has been briefed, and there were no immediate reports of “major impacts,” his office said on X.

Friday’s tremor reminded some residents of the 2011 5.8-magnitude earthquake in Virginia that prompted evacuations in New York City, including City Hall, and caused damage in Washington.

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