Earthquake Felt in Parts of New York State
While earthquakes in New York state are fairly few and far between, they can happen. One such tremor shook a small community this week.
Could a much larger, damaging quake ever occur near a major metropolitan area such as New York City?
Small Earthquake Strikes Parts of Northern New York
The United States Geological Survey says a small earthquake struck early Wednesday at 12:41 AM, centered near the hamlet of Redford, in Clinton County, NY. The Weatherboy website says the tremor was rated a magnitude 2.0 on the Richter Scale, which is considered minor, though the shaking can be strong enough for some to feel it.
EarthquakeTrack rated the quake a 1.9. The last earthquake in New York before Wednesday was May 19, and it actually happened in the Hudson Valley. The USGS says a 2.2 tremor occurred near Hastings-on-Hudson around 5:53 AM.
The Hudson Valley Post says the shaking was felt across Dobbs Ferry, Yonkers, Eastchester, and other nearby areas.
Can a Major Earthquake Ever Happen in New York?
Most earthquakes that happen within the state are either far north towards Quebec, in western New York around Lake Ontario, or closer to the New York City area. The most well known fault line near our area is the Ramapo fault line.
The 185 mile system of faults runs through parts of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and has been known to spawn smaller earthquakes.
Some say this fault system is much more complex and extensive than originally thought.
A 2008 study proposed that there may be an additional fault zone extending from the Ramapo Fault into southwestern Connecticut. There are also many smaller faults that criss-cross across New York City, and the city could be long overdue for a significant earthquake.
There is also the Western Quebec Seismic Zone, which can produce larger quakes that can be felt up and down the eastern coast of the United States, particularly for their neighbors directly south in the Empire State.
This is where the strongest quakes happen near us.