‘Puzzling’ quake hits next to NYC-area nuclear plant — “Not along any known fault lines” — Many reports of ‘loud boom’ echoing through area — Residents ‘startled into streets’ — Professor: “They tend to come in bursts… I’m concerned, let’s put it that way… Significant hazard… We don’t understand why these occur” (AUDIO)

Published: July 8th, 2014 at 11:25 am ET
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Journal News, July 6, 2014 (emphasis added): People living in the Hudson Highlands were startled Saturday morning by an earthquake that [...] was accompanied by a loud boom [...] those near the epicenter were startled into the streets. [...] The U.S. Geological Survey listed the event at a category 5 earthquake, which typically causes light shaking and no damage.

WAMC, July 7, 2014: Nano Seeber is a research professor with Columbia University [...] He says the small quake was not along any fault lines. “The Hudson Highlands is a belt of old crystalline rocks [and] have a concentration of earthquakes [...] There is fault [...] toward the southeast [...] and there’s a concentration of earthquakes near this fault. And of course this is of great concern because there is a nuclear power plant as well along this fault [...] I am concerned, let’s put it that way.” [...] Seeber says, as a seismologist, the earthquake is bit puzzling. “There is significant earthquake hazard  [...] we don’t understand basically why these earthquakes occur.”

Kathy Percacciolo, Garrison resident: “I thought somebody hit the house. I went outside to look and my daughter came running out and said, ‘What was that?’ I said maybe it was an earthquake.” She felt one once before, around 1984.

Christine Schaetzl, Garrison resident: “We heard this loud boom and the windows shook. My husband went outside to see if someone’s gas grill blew up… It was kind of scary. It echoed through the valley.” She’d felt earthquakes before, but had never heard one.

Thomas Pitt, Highland Falls resident: [Pitt] heard and felt the quake as well, even though he’s on the other side of the Hudson River. “There’s this big rumble, a loud boom. Everyone was coming out of their houses, looking for smoke.”

Robert Pidgeon, Cortlandt Manor resident: He heard a loud, short sound “that wasn’t normal [...] The trees made an odd sound like something was shaking them. I actually thought it was a bunch of deer running.”

Prof. Leonardo Seeber, Columbia University: The earthquake was [...] not along any known fault lines [...] Scientists keep a close eye on the Ramapo Fault because of the Indian Point nuclear power plant [...] more earthquakes might be coming soon. “They tend to come in bursts.”

Rafael Abreu, USGS geophysicist: New Yorkers have nothing to worry about. “Definitely not an indication that there is a larger earthquake coming or anything else.”

Full WAMC broadcast here

Published: July 8th, 2014 at 11:25 am ET
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