Live updates: Earthquake shakes northeast, but little damage reported

Live updates: Earthquake shakes northeast, but little damage reported

When a rumble reverberated across the Northeast, residents unfamiliar with earthquakes initially struggled to place the tremor.

Was it just the vibrations of the subway? Construction? Some kind of car accident? Was this all in their heads?

At Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, just a few miles from the epicenter of the Lebanon earthquake, Valorie Brennan heard a rumble that sounded like a train, before feeling any shaking.

“I thought my stove exploded,” she said, adding, “My dogs ran to the back of the house to hide.”

Frantic phone calls, a torrent of social media posts and an official emergency alert confirmed that the vibration was indeed a magnitude 4.8 earthquake.

For many people living in this region, where significant earthquakes are rare, it was the first time they could remember experiencing one.

Ada Carrasco has lived in Marble Hill, in the Bronx, for 10 years and says she has never felt an earthquake.

She was in her third-floor apartment, washing dishes when it happened. “I felt it, but at first I was like, ‘Am I getting dizzy?'” she said in Spanish on the steps of her building. “Then the shaking continued and I ran towards the door.”

It was also a first for Julia Gottlieb, 26, who lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She worked from home and guessed the shaking was caused by construction outside her building.

“Maybe they were drilling too close,” she said.

But in a city teeming with migrants and tourists, some said they immediately understood what it was.

Noga Hurwitz, who moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to New York for college in 2019, said she was working from her girlfriend’s apartment in Manhattan when she felt tremors for the first time.

Years of training in earthquake preparedness since kindergarten and from her father, a geologist for the United States Geological Survey, began, she said. They stood outside a bedroom door, as she had been taught as a child (a practice that experts generally no longer advise).

“It was very intuitive,” she said, remembering rattling picture frames and being stuck on roller coasters at Disneyland during some of the earthquakes she experienced growing up.

In a city where rumbles, belches and roars don’t normally trigger much alarm, she said her colleagues and friends all initially guessed that the quake was nothing out of the ordinary in New York: something thing fell from a building; the washing machine that shakes their apartment; roadside construction.

“There are so many noises in New York that I don’t think anyone had an intuition that it was an earthquake,” she said.

Grace Rhee, 39, was riding the Long Island Railroad with her 14-month-old son Victor when the tremors began. Ms. Rhee, who lives in Los Angeles and works for a technology company, is in New York to visit family.

“It’s ironic that I got here and felt an earthquake,” she said.

Was she nervous about getting on the subway after the small earthquake? Barely. “I’m from California. It’s nothing more than a sneeze.

And soon after, the city was back to its noisy character.

Mike Irizarry, 56, a retired hairdresser who was on the subway during the earthquake and said he felt nothing, did not hesitate to get back on the train afterward.

“Look, after 9/11 and everything else,” he said, “that doesn’t scare me. »

Erin Nolan, Camille Boulanger And Liset Cruz reports contributed.

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Mattie B. Jiménez

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