Small Earthquake Hits New York State Over the Weekend
You may not normally associate New York with earthquakes, but they do occasionally occur. In fact, an area just north of the Hudson Valley felt an earthquake hit Saturday evening. The United States Geological Survey says the small tremor occurred near Altamount, NY, in Albany County, at around 6:39 P.M. Saturday. News 10 is reporting that the quake measured a 2.0 on the Richter Scale. There were no reports of any damage, except for a few likely confused residents, and perhaps a cup or two that tipped over on the kitchen table.
Yes, earthquakes do happen in the northeastern U.S and Canada occasionally. 2020 actually started off with three small earthquakes, on January 3, 7, and 13 respectively. The third was the strongest of the trio, measuring a magnitude 3.3, that hit several miles south of the town of Ormstown, Quebec a little after 5:30 A.M. The Times Union says the quake was felt as far south as the town of Ticonderoga, NY in Essex County, and as far west as the city of Ogdensburg on the New York-Ontario border. The effects were also felt as far north as Montreal.
Some even strike even closer to home here in the Hudson Valley. In April 2017, a small 1.3 tremor occurred around two and half miles west of Pawling. In early 2016, an even smaller quake happened near Port Chester and Greenwich, CT. While still nothing to really worry about, the thought of any sort of tremors in this part of the U.S. gets some people talking. We don't quite have the level of awareness and preparation that people in California have had to live with.
The most well known fault line near our area is the Ramapo fault line. The 185 mile system of faults runs through parts of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and has been known to spawn usually small earthquakes.
On August 23, 2011, a 5.8 quake, that was centered in Virginia, was felt all the way up the east coast. Several moderate (at least a 5 on the richter scale) quakes have occurred near New York City in 1737, 1783 and 1884. Is the area overdue for a much larger quake at some point in the future?