Press "Enter" to skip to content

Earthquake Shakes New York

By Brendan Kaufman, Staff Writer

On Apr. 5, an unexpected earthquake struck the New York City area at 10:20 a.m. The earthquake was measured at a 4.8 magnitude located around 4.4 miles from Reading Township, N.J., and was followed by an aftershock eight hours later at 6 p.m. the same day. Many residents were confused by the earthquake as seismic activity has been virtually nonexistent in New York since 2011.

Many LIU students were going through their daily routines when the earthquake struck that morning. Senior digital design major Joseph Conlon describes what he was doing prior to and during the earthquake.

“I was actually in the film studio we have here on campus,” Conlon explained. “I was recording for my talk show. In the middle of the recording, it hit and it was kinda weird and frankly a bit scary at first.”

Not every student was on campus when the earthquake happened. Senior film major Tarik Jaawani was headed elsewhere during the big moment.

“I was actually in Manhattan,” Jaawani said. “I was in the conference room of the Hilton on First Avenue, in the middle of a meeting for my graduate program. I was just listening to a briefing when the quake shook the room for a bit.”

Photo Credit: The Weather Channel

The immediate response to the earthquake from many was confusion, as there hadn’t been a noticeable earthquake in New York State since Aug. 11, 2011, when a magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit the east coast. The epicenter of the 2011 earthquake was in Virginia. Many people thought that the earthquake was something else entirely. Jaawani initially believed that the earthquake was simply the subway below the Hilton.

“At first, I was like ‘Oh man! The train’s passing under,’” he said. “When it went on for a couple of seconds longer, I was convinced it was just a long train passing by. Once I thought about it, I realized that there’s no subway on First Avenue. I didn’t find out until later that it actually was an earthquake, since my next guess was the metro north.”

Conlon on the other hand, thought it may have had to do with construction work being done on campus at the same time.

“We immediately thought it was something around the building,” he said. “Maybe there was some construction going on somewhere. But then we thought about it for a bit and realized we were in the middle of a college campus not even that close to any roads on a Saturday. It would’ve been impossible for anything big to happen in this area. Finding out what it was afterward was a pretty big shock.”

When it was confirmed that an earthquake had occurred that morning, people reacted in a variety of ways. Some questioned how an earthquake could happen at all in an area with minimal seismic activity, while others brushed off the earthquake entirely due to the lack of any real damage caused. Conlon reflected on how he felt when he realized what had actually happened that morning.

“So during the show, we initially thought it was an earthquake, or at the very least, we joked about it,” he stated. “Afterwards, we looked up online and immediately found out that it was a [magnitude] 4.8 from New Jersey. Being from Long Island, where not a lot of these kinds of things happen, and catching the whole thing on film was so crazy. I can’t believe it actually happened in the first place.”

Jaawani had a far less extreme reaction to finding out what all the shaking was about.

“I got a text from my mom,” he said. “She asked if I felt the earthquake and it just hit me that that’s what had happened. It wasn’t very violent, it was more like a little rumbling. A [magnitude] 4.8 is pretty big, but it’s not super damaging. If it was [a magnitude] 8, then I think there would’ve been some trouble. We will rebuild the garden chairs that fell over during that time.”

The occurrence of this earthquake has led some people to believe that more events like this will happen in the near future. Whether it be for scientific reasons or more unexplainable ones, some believe this earthquake could lead to something similar down the road.

Not all people are believers in this theory. Jaawani believes this to simply be a one-time occurrence and nothing more.

“In terms of leading to something, I think nothing will end up happening,” he stated. “I think the quake serves as a reminder that New York does in fact fall within a seismically active area and nothing more.”

Conlon, on the other hand, thinks that the answer is not so simple.

“That’s a tough one,” he stated. “I think it won’t really lead to anything supernatural or anything down the road, but this is the first time I’ve ever experienced an earthquake like this here in New York. I wouldn’t be surprised if another one of these happened in the near future. Then again, it might also be nothing for a while. I’m not super sure.”

The recent earthquake in New York was an event that had reactions from many different people. Ultimately, the physical damage was minimal but the impact felt throughout the state was unmatched in recent history.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *