Reports Preliminary 3.1 Magnitude Earthquake in New Jersey by USGS
The United States Geological Survey says a small earthquake was detected in New Jersey early Wednesday morning.
A preliminary 3.1 magnitude earthquake’s epicenter was near southeast of East Freehold, New Jersey, according to USGS. Reports on social media show the quake was felt all the way to southeast Queens, and Bed Stuy, Brooklyn.
“I live in Freehold and I thought something hit the house,” Theresa McAllister said.
USGS geophysicist Robert Sanders tells NBC News over the phone that an earthquake in the region is “relatively uncommon.” There are two previous recorded quakes with a magnitude 3.0 and larger within a 10-mile radius of the one in Freehold: A 3.1 earthquake in 1992 and a 3.5 earthquake in 1979.
“It will take a few days or weeks before analysts can see if there’s a specific fault line at cause here,” Sanders said. He added that structural damage is possible but unlikely. Damages are more likely to be things falling off shelves.
A spokesperson for the Monmouth County Sherrif’s Office tells News 4 that there were at least 125 calls in a half-hour span into the 911 call center; No damage was reported.
The Freehold Police Department said dispatch fielded dozens of calls and that the epicenter of the earthquake was 500 feet away from the police station. A spokesperson for the department said the quake felt more like “the floor dropped out” rather than a wavy motion.