A magnitude 4.8 earthquake with an epicenter of Lebanon, New Jersey, hit New York and was felt from Boston down to Baltimore on Friday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said there were no reports of major impacts. However, they are “performing thorough inspections of critical areas.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said, “We’re taking this extremely seriously and here’s why, there is always the possibility of aftershocks. ... We have not felt the magnitude of an earthquake of this level since about 2011.”

How rare are earthquakes in the northeastern U.S.?

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there are around 500,000 detectable earthquakes around the world each year.

While earthquakes largely hit the West Coast, specifically California, the northeast states also experience signifiant earthquakes, falling into a low to moderate earthquake risk, per The Northeast States Emergency Consortium.

Since the 1700s, the National Earthquake Information Center has recorded more than 2,000 earthquakes in the Northeast region.

This is in comparison to California’s recording of around 10,000 earthquakes, per the U.S. Geological Survey.

People wait at the 8th and Market PATCO station because of a suspension of service on PATCO, so that crews can check the tracks follwing an earthquake, Friday, April 5, 2024, in Philadelphia. | Jessica Griffin

Are earthquakes happening more often?

Mark Benthien, global ShakeOut coordinator and outreach director for the Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California, in speaking to USA Today, said earthquakes are not happening more frequently.

Advancements in seismic recording technology have led to a notable increase in the detection of earthquakes, even in remote areas and under the ocean floor, according to Benthien while speaking to USA Today.

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