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The 40-year Shake
Written by Larry Roeder, Editor
2024-04-10

            That was quite a morning jolt we got last Friday, and I'm not talking about coffee or some kind of energy drink.

USGS map showing the reach of the 4.8 magnitude earthquake that was centered near Whitehouse Station in New Jersey.  As indicated by the blue line, the rumbles of that temblor could be felt in southern New Jersey, New York City, as well as areas in Bucks, Berks, Lehigh, Montgomrey, North hampton, and Philadelphia counties in PA.

 

            Around 10:20 a.m. many folks around the Town and Country readership area ran to their windows to see what the loud, rumbling noise was.  Some just thought it was a large truck passing by or parking in front of their building.

            At the office of the Town and Country, on Kutztown Road in Upper Hanover Township, there was no mistaking the loud noise and accompanying vibrations of the building that this was an earthquake.

            What we felt was the result of a 4.8 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter near Whitehouse Station in New Jersey.  The rumbles of that temblor could be felt in southern New Jersey, New York City, as well as areas in Bucks, Berks, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties in PA.

            According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) the quake had a depth in the earth of about three miles.

.           It didn't take long for the United States Geological Service to confirm that an earthquake had struck in the north-central area of the Garden State.

            In the City of Brotherly Love, government buildings were evacuated, speed

The tremors could be felt and heard throughout most of the Upper Perkiomen Valley.  The blue line on the USGS map indicates the eastern- most reach of the rumbles from the quake.

 

restrictions were placed on Amtrak trains and the Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO) suspended service to allow for inspection of their tracks and buildings.  New Jersey Transit delayed bridge crossings so they could be inspected.  The Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority kept chugging along without much of a delay while crews inspected the infrastructure. 

            The runways at the Philadelphia International Airport were closed for a short time as well.

            In the Big Apple many building evacuations took place and bridges and tunnels were shut down to allow for inspections.

            Fortunately, there were no reported deaths, serious injuries, or major damage reported as a result of the earthquake.  But, several small tremors were felt over the ensuing days.

            We've had several earthquakes shake us up over the last two decades but the last time people felt close to this strong a quake around here was in August 2011 when the earth moved with a magnitude of 5.8 after an earthquake struck near Richmond, VA.  But, it didn't shake, rattle, and roll us much around here.

            We shouldn't be too surprised since we live near the 185-mile-long Ramapo fault line that runs from upstate New York through parts of New Jersey and into eastern Pennsylvania.

            We've had a few shakers in this area over the last few decades. Around here, the last time we had a good shake-up was – you guessed it, 40 years ago.  On April 23, 1984.

            The 4.1 magnitude earthquake was centered near Lancaster, PA, and was felt in the eastern section of Berks County. 

            Carol Cressley, of Huffs Church, was watching television with her family around 8:30 p.m. when her home began to shake.  She reported that she first noticed the glasses in her cabinet began shaking.  That one was felt in parts of New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and Maryland.   She was quoted as saying, "It didn't scare me until it was over … It really scared the cat.  She stood up and held onto the floor and acted strangely the rest of the night." 

            Her relatives, who live about a mile away from her, also felt the temblor.

            Just like Friday's earthquake, aftershocks, or smaller earthquakes originating from the same area, were felt over the next few days.

            And, we can be thankful.  Just like Friday's earthquake, no serious injuries or damage were reported.

            Forty years ago to the month.


 

 

 

 

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