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2.9 magnitude earthquake strikes New Jersey

A small 2.9 magnitude earthquake rattled New Jersey on Saturday morning, just three weeks after a more forceful 4.8 quake hit the Garden State and surrounding regions. 

The natural phenomenon hit near Tewksbury this morning at around 9:49 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Tewksbury is located in Hunterdon County, which is about 35 miles west of New York City. 

It is unclear if the seismic activity was an aftershock from the April 5 earthquake. That event was centered near Whitehouse Station, which is about five miles south of Tewksbury, and was felt from Washington D.C. to Maine, according to the USGS.

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A small 2.9 magnitude earthquake rattled New Jersey Saturday morning, just three weeks after a more forceful 4.8 quake hit the Garden State and surrounding regions. 

Ashley Papa, a Fox News Digital editor living in New Jersey, says she felt Saturday’s quake rock her home.

“I was in the kitchen with my toddler and all of a sudden we started feeling the house shake pretty strongly and we heard that same rumbling sound from the day of the [April 5] earthquake,” Papa said. 

More than 130 aftershocks have been recorded in the region since the April 5 rattler, which was estimated to have been felt by more than 42 million people in 14 states.

“I’d have to say it was the strongest aftershock since that day except this time I knew what I was feeling, unlike that Friday when I had no idea what was going on,” Papa said.

Two men hold back a shelf with liquor bottles from shaking

Two employees of Bourbon Street Wine and Sprits hold back shelves full of liquor in New Jersey during the April 5 earthquake. (Chris Beardly)

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“I think we’re all just in shock that this is still going on. I figured we would never feel anything like this again for another hundred years and here we are about a month later still feeling strong aftershocks, it just makes us wonder what is going on? And of course, our dog is terrified and will likely never be the same again.”

Earthquakes are rare along the East Coast, with the most powerful one in the last 100 years hitting in August 2011, clocking 5.8 on the Richter scale. It was centered in Virginia and felt from Washington, D.C. to Boston.

The recent quakes follow a 1.7 magnitude earthquake in New York City on Jan. 2

Earthquake East Coast April 5

People walk through lower Manhattan moments after New York City and parts of New Jersey experienced a 4.8 magnitude earthquake on April 05, 2024  (Earthquake East Coast)

Professor John Ebel, a seismologist in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Boston College, told Fox News Digital recently that a quake above 5.0 on the Richter scale generally strikes once every 120 years. 

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“The question is, can we have something bigger? And in my opinion, yes we can,” he said. “We can’t predict earthquakes, and we don’t know when the next one is going to occur, but we do have a low, not insignificant probability of a damaging earthquake at some point.”

Ebel said that the April 5 earthquake has left seismologists baffled since it didn’t occur on the Ramapo Fault zone, highlighting just how hard it is to predict the phenomenon from occurring. 

The Ramapo Fault zone is a series of small fault lines that runs through New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Spanning more than 185 miles, it was formed about 200 million years ago.

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