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Earthquake Rattles New York City
Released: 1/17/2001

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Kathleen Gohn 1-click interview
Phone: 703-648-4242

A small earthquake, preliminary magnitude 2.5 according to the U.S. Geological Survey, occurred between the southern tip of Manhattan and Queens, near Newark, New Jersey, at 7:34 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on January 17. Shaking was felt in New York City. The USGS has received no reports of damage at this time.

During the past 300 years, the East Coast has seen about one damaging earthquake each century. One hit north of Boston in 1755, and another struck Charleston in 1886, causing around 60 deaths and destroying many buildings. In 1884, New York was shaken by an earthquake that caused damage in 30 towns from Connecticut to Pennsylvania.

January 17 is the anniversary of two major recent earthquakes. A magnitude 6.7 earthquake in Northridge, California (1994), caused more than $20 billion in damage and killed around 60 people. One year later, on January 17, 1995, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, killed at least 6,300 people, injured and displaced thousands of others, and caused more than $100 billion in damage.

The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

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