4.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes New Jersey, Surrounding Areas Friday Morning

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Locally, numerous residents in NJ and beyond reported feeling walls shake and the ground tremble.  South Orange-Maplewood schools were put in a Code Yellow shelter-in-place until buildings could be inspected for safety.

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Residents from Maryland to Connecticut felt the impact of a 4.8 magnitude earthquake on Friday that struck in Hunterdon County, NJ at around 10:30 a.m.

The earthquake was felt throughout New Jersey and up and down the East Coast, including in New York City, Long Island, Delaware, Philadelphia, Connecticut and Maryland, according to numerous media reports. The United States Geological Service estimated it might have been felt by more than 42 million people.

See more about the earthquake on the USGS site.

Locally, numerous residents in NJ and beyond reported feeling walls shake and the ground tremble.  South Orange-Maplewood schools were put in a Code Yellow shelter-in-place until buildings could be inspected for safety.

Maplewood business owner Sarah Barrows Hayden of said a sign fell off her wall at West Village Clothing Co. on Ridgewood Road. Another business owner said she was on a phone call with someone in Bergen County when the woman stopped mid-sentence and said, “Did you feel that?”, as the business owner saw the walls and ceilings of her building move.

A West Orange resident said “My whole house was shaking.”

A resident in Morris County, closer to the epicenter, told HistoryNusantara she was on a conference call at the time. “I felt it very strong…I said, ‘There’s something wrong with my house.’ I thought it was falling down.” Other people on the call who were in the tri-state area “started freaking out.”

According to a release from Maplewood Township, the quake lasted roughly 30 seconds. “So far, there are no reports of injuries or damage in Maplewood,” the release read. (See full release below)

Maplewood Police issued an alert at 11:16 a.m., stating that “There is currently no cause for concern.”

At 10:50 a.m., Gov. Phil Murphy posted on Twitter/X:

Our region just experienced an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.7, with an epicenter near Readington in Hunterdon County.

We have activated our State Emergency Operations Center. Please do not call 911 unless you have an actual emergency.

New Jersey Transit issued an alert that rail service system-wide was subject to up to 20-minute delays in both directions “due to bridge inspections” following the earthquake.

A teacher at Maplewood Middle School said the building was put under a Code Yellow shelter in place warning shortly after the quake, at around 10:50 a.m. She reported being told that Security Director Stanley Valles said no one should enter or leave the building.

SOMSD communications director Paul Brubaker sent an email to the school community at 11:33 a.m.:

Dear South Orange & Maplewood School District Students, Families, and Staff,

There was an earthquake this morning in Lebanon, N.J. Tremors were felt here in our District.

All schools were in a Code Yellow – Shelter in Place as Facilities Department Officials inspected all District buildings.

The Code Yellow – Shelter in Place has now been lifted and all school activities are resuming.

From Maplewood Township:

According to the U.S Geological Survey, an earthquake occurred near Lebanon in Hunterdon County at around 10:30 a.m. The earthquake lasted for approximately 30 seconds and was felt across New Jersey, including in NYC, Delaware, Philadelphia, Connecticut and Maryland. So far, there are no reports of injuries or damage in Maplewood.

A message from the governor’s office reads: “Our region just experienced an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.7, with an epicenter near Readington in Hunterdon County. We have activated our State Emergency Operations Center. Please do not call 911 unless you have an actual emergency.” For more information, please refer to https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us7000ma74/impact.

From South Orange Township:

Alert Sent On: 04/05/2024 11:55:22 AM EDT
At approximately 10:23 a.m., South Orange, and the rest of the tri-state area was hit with a 4.7 magnitude earthquake. Per the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake occurred near Lebanon, NJ and encompassed most of the state and parts of New York and Pennsylvania.

As of right now, no damage has been reported in South Orange. Residents are advised to check water, gas, and electric lines for damage. If any are damaged, shut off the valves. Check for the smell of gas. If you smell it, open all the windows and doors, leave immediately, and report it the South Essex Fire Department.

We do ask that in the event of any aftershocks, please only call 9-1-1 if there is a life-threatening emergency.

HistoryNusantara will continue to update this story.

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