Magnitude 5.8 Quake Rattles New Jersey and New York

A magnitude 5.8 earthquake centered in Virginia shook parts of New Jersey and New York 1:51 PM of August 23, 2011. Although no injuries or structural damage was reported, it caused buildings in the area to sway, causing fear among the residents.

The earthquake was also felt in Washington, D.C. and North Carolina.


U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter was northwest of Richmond, Virginia, about halfway to Charlottesville. Geophysicist Julie Dutton said an earthquake that big is rare for the East Coast but since quakes move more easily through the bedrock, the effects are widely felt in the region.

The earthquake was a shallow 6-kilometer deep. and the composition of the earth's surface in the East Coast is the reason why the earthquake was felt in a wide range.

There are fault lines throughout the East Coast but the location of the main ones haven't been identified yet.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Husch, chair of the department of geological, environmental and marine sciences at Rider University in Lawrenceville said that earthquakes in the East Coast are not common, but they are not unusual. The recorded magnitude 5.8 quake, though, may be the largest ever recorded in that area.


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