September 9, 2020: The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) relayed that earlier this morning, an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.1 struck New Jersey. Hitting in the wee hours, around 2 a.m., it was positioned around East Freehold. Residents have been active on social media, expressing their shock at the fact that this rare weather event is happening in their state. Shaking has been reported across the Garden State and into New York.
USGS put out a ‘Did You Feel It?’ map, and people from Long Island to Philadelphia responded, with many saying they only felt a light shaking, with no visible damage done. Robert Sanders, a USGS geophysicist, said that it would be surprising if real damage is seen, aside from furniture damage.
The state last experienced shaking due to an earthquake in 2011, when NJ.com reported that a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck nearby Virginia. One of the largest earthquakes ever recorded on the East Coast, its effects were felt in New Jersey as many reported shaking. Read on for more details.
Sanders mentioned that it is uncommon for earthquakes of this magnitude to hit around New Jersey, and that two others have hit within 10 miles of East Freehold since 1970.
How to Stay Safe in an Earthquake
* Tips adapted from Ready.gov, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security site
During an Earthquake
– Drop, Cover and Hold on: Get on your knees, cover your head and neck, and, if possible, get under a shelter, such as a table. Grasp hold of the structure, and be prepared to move with it if it moves.
How to Prepare
– Practice: Practice what to do in the event of an earthquake with friends and immediate family members, so everyone is prepared should an event strike.
– Move Items: Secure wall hangings and electronic devices. Try to be mindful of where breakable items, such as glass, are in your home, should they topple over and get damaged.
– Create a Plan and Supply Kit: Plan what your family will do, should disaster strike, and include out-of-state contacts. Put nonperishable food and water (such as canned tuna and peanut butter), a whistle, flashlights, extra clothes, a fire extinguisher and anything else family members need in it.
– Look into Insurance: Evaluate insurance to get an earthquake protection plan.
After one Strikes
– Check to see if anyone is hurt: Get help if it is safe to do so.
– Move Away: Get away from damaged buildings.
– Protect Yourself from Dust: Cover your eyes, nose and mouth, and send a text or use a whistle to help people locate where you are.
– Listen to the News: After it hits, and everyone is safe and accounted for, tune into the news for updates and important instructions.