USGS Reports Preliminary 3.1 Magnitude Earthquake detected in New Jersey

The United States Geological Survey says a small earthquake was detected in New Jersey early Wednesday morning.

A preliminary 3.1 magnitude earthquake’s epicenter was near southeast of East Freehold, New Jersey, according to USGS. Reports on social media show the quake was felt all the way to southeast Queens, and Bed Stuy, Brooklyn.

“I live in Freehold and I thought something hit the house,” Theresa McAllister said.

USGS geophysicist Robert Sanders tells NBC News over the phone that an earthquake in the region is “relatively uncommon. There are two previous recorded quakes with a magnitude 3.0 and larger within a 10-mile radius of the one in Freehold: A 3.1 earthquake in 1992 and a 3.5 earthquake in 1979.

“It will take a few days or weeks before analysts can see if there’s a specific fault line at cause here,” Sanders said.

It’s unclear if any injuries and damage have been reported but Sanders said structural damage is possible but unlikely. Damages are more likely to be things falling off shelves, he said.

Unlike earthquakes on the West Coast, the ones that occur on the West Coast are more widely felt, according to USGS. Scientists are researching the reasons but some of the factors have to do with the nature of tectonic plates and the size and age of buildings here.


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