New Jersey sees more than 150 aftershocks since April 5 4.8 magnitude earthquake

The United States Geological Survey says that there have been 157 aftershocks since the April 5 earthquake.

Naomi Yané

Apr 30, 2024, 2:16 AM

Updated 24 days ago

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Friday will mark one month since a 4.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the Garden State. That earthquake has been followed by over 100 aftershocks.
A water main break in Randolph was one of the more severe reported damages caused by the initial April 5 earthquake. The epicenter was 17 miles from Roxbury, in Tewksbury.
Paul Fabiano lives in Tewksbury and recalls what he and his wife experienced on the day of the earthquake.
"It felt like there was a huge explosion and the house shook,” Fabiano says.
New Jersey is not used to experiencing earthquakes, in fact, the last significant one in the Garden State was in the 1880s.
The United States Geological Survey says that there have been 157 aftershocks since the April 5 earthquake. They’ve ranged from 0.2 to 3.8 in magnitude, according to the USGS.
"A sequence of events happens when the first big earthquake hits and then we have the aftershocks. They could extend for like one week, one month, even up to one year - as long as the magnitude is always smaller than the first,” says Roberto Masis, a Ph.D candidate in seismology at Rutgers University.
Masis explains that if the ground shakes again and it’s higher than 4.8 in magnitude, that would be considered a new earthquake and not an aftershock.
"And then, that would, let’s say, restart the earthquake sequence of events so that event would have earthquakes or aftershocks that would be part of that one and not of the first one,” he says.
So, what’s the likelihood of all this happening again? Masis says it’s unpredictable but this is a reminder that earthquakes can happen in New Jersey.
"What we don’t know is when. It could happen within a month, within a year. It can happen in another 200 years, so it’s very hard to tell. This is where the importance comes to always being ready even though it’s not frequent. We don’t know how frequent it could get and we don’t know when the next one is going to happen,” Masis says.


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