Imagine a major earthquake in the United States financial center….Since January 2016 a cluster of low-magnitude earthquakes in the New York region has cause anxiety and interest in residents and geologists. That later has gone onto predict this increase in seismic activity will continue and a large-scale one could be coming.
In 2015, the region had five shakers all year long…this year there has already been seven according to a review of U.S. Geological Survey data. Each of the recent earthquakes registered a magnitude 2.0 or below, the data show. Six of these quakes were clustered in northern New Jersey and three the weekend of Feb. 20—were strong enough to prompt for residents to feel and be panicky.
Some are saying that the region is “overdue” for a big one. Earthquakes are included in New Jersey’s hazard mitigation plan but the risk is assessed at low. Geologists have long warned about the possibility for a significant earthquake in the region. Damaging earthquakes hit the region in 1737 and 1884, the latter registering a magnitude 5.5, according to the Geological Survey. The 1884 earthquake was epicentered in Jamaica Bay and caused walls to collapse, chimneys to crack and buildings to sway in the tri-state area.
Earthquakes that have hit the region are much closer to the earth’s surface than those out West, allowing them to be felt despite their small magnitude. The New York region’s most significant fault is the 185-mile Ramapo line, which spans parts of Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey and the Catskills in New York. Scientists have studied fault lines far more in the West than ones in the East, which tend to be less clearly defined, smaller and deeply buried, according to researchers.