Residents in Westchester County were awakened by a 2.2 magnitude earthquake at 1:53 a.m. Friday morning.
The U.S. Geological Survey confirmed the earthquake epicenter as directly south of Hastings-on-Hudson, near the Lenoir Preserve in Yonkers.
Although no damage has been reported, residents describe being able to feel the tremors in the Bronx, northeast New Jersey, Danbury, Connecticut, and other locations in the region.
In an interview with ABC News, Yonkers resident Sophia Balaj described how the quake caused a loud rumble for several seconds and interrupted a her group video call as attendees asked each other if they could also feel the ground shaking.
Erica Diggs, a resident of Englewood, NJ, also felt the tremors. As a military veteran who served two tours in Iraq, she described to ABC News what the quake felt like—and how it transported her back to her deployments.
“What it felt like was a mortar, and what it sounded like was a mortar.” She later stated that the quake, “gave me flashbacks of being in my trailer when I was in Iraq and the mortars would hit that close.”
Other residents, including White Plains, NY, resident Allison Solin, felt a sense of panic when the ground began shaking because she didn’t know the source of the rumblings. She described her experience to ABC News.
“I was like, ‘That’s not wind,’ and then I thought, ‘Oh my god, is there a bomb explosion nearby?’”
Nearby Fault Lines to Blame
While large earthquakes in the area around New York City are rare, there are several major fault lines in the state, including the large Ramapo Fault which spans a diagonal tract from Haverstraw, New York to Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania. The shorter, but significant, Dobbs Ferry Fault line lies north of Yonkers and runs southeast from Dobbs Ferry to Greenville/Edgemont.
Randy Baldwin, a geophysicist at the USGS’s National Information Center in Golden, Colorado, noted in an interview with CNN that smaller earthquakes in the region aren’t unheard of.
“It’s pretty common—you might get several quakes a month, a handful of quakes at random locations,” Baldwin said. “You probably won’t see damage until you reach the magnitude 4 range.”
According to the US Department of Environmental Protection, a “maximum intensity” earthquake hasn’t occurred in NYC since August 10th, 1884, when an estimated 5.5 magnitude quake struck. The epicenter of that quake was believed to have been Coney Island or Far Rockaway.