Earthquake Shakes Morris County

3 02 2009

mcMorris County-N.J. A magnitude 3.0 earthquake that rocked several towns in Morris County Monday left no reported injuries or significant damage so far, authorities said. But the quake left many residents shaken up after they felt the floors underneath them move and heard what sounded like an explosion. “It was unbelievable. I was sitting on the couch watching the TV, and it felt like an explosion right in my fireplace,” said Hans Karl of Mabro Drive in Denville. “You could actually feel an impact. I have never been in one before, so I didn’t know how it felt.” United States Geological Survey The epicenter of the quake was about five miles west-northwest of Morristown, said Richard Buckmaster, a geophysicist with the United States Geological Survey. The USGS said the quake occurred at 10:34 p.m. and “it was widely felt,” Buckmaster said. State Police Sgt. Stephen Jones said he received a slew of 911 calls immediately following the quake, but there were no injuries or major property damage reported. Morris Plains officer Jeffrey Hochman said there were no significant reports other than a few homes that lost internet service and Candlewood Suites losing television service. Ron Morano, spokesperson for Jersey Central Power and Light which services the area, said no power outages were reported. Peter Rowland, a spokesman for Picatinny Arsenal, a weapons research and testing facility in Rockaway Township, said he is still verifying with all of the base departments, but arsenal officials do not believe that the tremendous boom that many people heard came from the Army post. Geophysicist John Bellini, with the United States Geological Survey, said reports of loud noises are common in earthquakes below a magnitude 4.0. “They’re hearing the vibrations, generally caused by the building shaking,” Bellini said. Since 1974, there have been about 50 seismic events within 100 kilometers, or about 62 miles, of last night’s quake, Buckmaster said. The most recent one, a magnitude 2.1, occurred July 28, 2008, according to Buckmaster and the USGS website. The largest one since 1974 was a magnitude 4.0 on Oct. 19, 1985. “You can have an earthquake in almost any state, and New Jersey is no exception,” he said.

(News Source: NJ Dot Com)

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