Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquake in New York City Metropolitan Area and Beyond

Today New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and much of the eastern half of the U.S. and even Canada felt an unusually strong shaking of the earth that this region is not all that comfortable or familiar with. The earthquake's epicenter was near Mineral, Virginia and registered a 5.8 on the Richter scale. Most quakes in this region of the continent are usually much less noticeable than this one was.

I didn't time it, but the shaking seemed to go on for around thirty seconds or so. At my office, it wasn't strong enough to knock things down. But it was definitely a new experience for many of us. The quake only caused limited damage to some buildings near its epicenter in Virginia.

Office buildings in New York and New Jersey emptied themselves out as if they were all having simultaneous fire drills, including the one I work at in Parsippany, New Jersey. In our building, many of us remained inside, wanting to get back to work. But building security, showing an abundance of caution asked everyone to wait outside. After twenty or thirty minutes, we went back in. It was nice a nice break to get out in the summer sun for a little while and talk.

While this quake was disconcerting and worry inducing for parents and families, and even a little awe inspiring considering the power involved, we can be thankful that it was not worse than it was. Hopefully the involved faults have had their pressure relieved for another 50 years or so.

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