A magnitude 2.2 earthquake was felt in parts of New York and New Jersey early Friday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey told CNN.
The earthquake occurred at 2 a.m. around northwest Yonkers and along the Hudson River in New York, and was felt in New Jersey, according to Randy Baldwin, a geophysicist at the USGS’s National Information Center in Golden, Colorado.
USGS received 200 alerts on its website from people who felt the earthquake, most of which were reported within a 15-mile radius from the epicenter, Baldwin said.
“It’s pretty common – you might get several quakes a month, a handful of quakes at random locations,” Baldwin said.
The Yonkers fire commissioner’s office confirmed that while dispatch did receive a few calls, it was largely for noise, with one caller phoning in an alleged blown transformer. Personnel were sent to the area but found no injuries, the Yonkers Fire Department spokesperson confirmed. There were no calls in Hastings-on-Hudson, Hastings Fire Secretary Jean Schnibbe told CNN.
The quake, which Baldwin said lasted only for a brief moment, was likely felt by because most residents were home for the night at that hour, Baldwin said. Most earthquakes in the Northeast are minor, Baldwin said, adding the largest quake in the last three months was Buffalo’s magnitude 3.8 earthquake on Feb. 6.
“You probably won’t see damage until you reach the magnitude 4 range,” Baldwin said. “The Buffalo quake was in the metropolitan area. If there was damage there, it would be something falling off a refrigerator.”
Earthquakes in the Northeast U.S. are difficult to predict because of their size and can happen randomly, Baldwin said. It’s rare for them to happen in densely populated areas in the Northeast, he said.
“You might go a few weeks without seeing any, and then a few weeks you might see them,” he said. “The fault lines are usually not identified — they’re underground and they just occur.”
In the last six months, USGS has identified approximately 100 “mostly small” earthquakes in the Northeast U.S., Baldwin said. These extend up into Canada, through Quebec and into the Nova Scotia area, Baldwin said.