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New York City rocked by 1.7 magnitude earthquake suspected of causing buildings to shake – CBS New York

New York City rocked by 1.7 magnitude earthquake suspected of causing buildings to shake – CBS New York

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By
/ CBS New York
NEW YORK — What residents said felt like a series of small explosions rattled New Yorkers from Astoria to Roosevelt Island on Tuesday.
For hours, confounded firefighters and Con Edison crews circled buildings just south of the Roosevelt Island Bridge and Tramway, even popping manhole covers, but found nothing.
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As families awaited word, theories ran wild.
“I got really scared. I thought it was in the building and something blew up,” Roosevelt Island resident Maria Grant said.
“He was in another room. I thought maybe he was under the bed making the bed shake, but then I realized this was more serious,” Astoria resident Rene Vasicek said, referring to the family dog.
“I thought it was like an earthquake or something because we were shaking,” added Maria Gomes of Roosevelt Island.
As it turns out, it may have indeed been an earthquake.
The U.S. Geological Survey said one measuring 1.7 magnitude was reported in Astoria at around 5:45 a.m., just minutes before 911 calls flooded dispatchers with reports of a boom and buildings rocking.
“It blew me out of my bed,” Grant said.
“My daughter called me. She thought her husband fell out of bed because it was so strong,” added Georgette Sinclair of Roosevelt Island.
Seismologists say low-intensity micro-earthquakes happen all the time and are rarely felt. But the one in Astoria was at a shallow depth, about 5 kilometers underground.
“The rocks around here are strong and carry the earthquake waves efficiently, so small earthquakes can be felt in the eastern United States that wouldn’t be felt in California,” said John Armbruster of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
Watch: When was the last earthquake in New York City?
Armbruster said Tuesday’s turn of events was almost a direct replay of a 2.6-magnitude earthquake in 2001, when first responders similarly ran around for hours.
“Looking for an explosion, looking for a plane crash. After they looked for a couple of hours and couldn’t find anything, someone said maybe it was an earthquake,” Armbruster said.
In both 2001 and on Tuesday, no injures were reported.
Christina Fan joined CBS2 News as a general assignment reporter in spring of 2019.
First published on January 2, 2024 / 7:12 AM EST
© 2024 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
©2024 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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