Did you feel the earthquake on Tuesday night?!
An earthquake happened in NYC on Tuesday night at 7:26pm and spread about 1.2 miles! If you didn’t feel it, you are not the only one. The earthquake only had a magnitude of 0.9 according to the United States Geological Survey.
That means it was most likely not felt at all. Any earthquake that is under a 2.5 magnitude is not usually felt. An earthquake with a magnitude of 2.5 to 5.4 can cause minor damage, but not typically to buildings. If an earthquake has a magnitude between 5.5 and 6.0, damage may occur to buildings. From 6.1 to 6.9 there is usually a lot of damage. Between 7.0 and 7.9 there is very serious damage and earthquakes with magnitudes that are 8.0 or higher destroy entire communities near the epicenter.
What causes these earthquakes? An earthquake occurs when there is a slip on a fault. The Earth is covered in tectonic plates. The lines between them are called fault lines. When a tectonic plate gets stuck on another is causes friction, which creates the earthquake. It is almost like NYC gridlock… but on a larger scale.
The worst earthquake that was ever felt in NYC was on December 18th, 1737. This earthquake had a magnitude of 5.2. Another earthquake with the same magnitude occurred on August 10th, 1884. This earthquake was felt as far away as Toledo, Ohio AND Penobscot Bay, Maine.
Although none of us were around for those, you may remember the earthquake of 5.8 magnitude in Virginia on August 23rd, 2011. This was felt 200 miles away in NYC and there was even some damage in Brooklyn.
These mini earthquakes happen in NYC every few years, so there may not be another for a while!