Earthquake and loud boom in New Jersey

  • Earthquake and loud boom Monday evening in NJ
  • Quake close to Greater New York area
  • Ramapo Fault Zone spans NY, NJ, and Pennsylvania
  • Focus of earthquake about 3 miles (5 km) deep
  • You be the judge of the magnitude of this earthquake

MORRIS PLAINS — A shallow earthquake and a loud boom rattled Morris Plains, New Jersey, on Monday night, Sept 25, 2017, at 6:35 p.m. EDT, confirmed by the USGS. The focus of the earthquake was about 3 miles (5 km) below the surface. The quake was close to the Greater New York area.

In New Jersey as elsewhere, earthquakes usually occur when accumulated strain within the Earth’s crust is suddenly released along a fault. The Ramapo Fault zone, spanning more than 185 miles (300 km) in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, is a system of faults between the northern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont areas to the east.

Take a look at the Modified Mercalli Scale below and take into consideration some Facebook comments that follow it.  Per the USGS, the quake was 1.7; however, a quake in that range is usually detected only by sensitive instruments. Based on the comments below, this was not the case. In all probability, the earthquake was between 2.5 and 3.5 on the Richter Scale. 

Modified Mercalli Scale

In recent years (for reasons known only to them), the USGS has tended to not only downgrade the magnitude of earthquakes, but also to drop quakes completely from its database.

Comments on Facebook from New Jersey residents:

  • Randi Tanenbaum Cohen heard a weird boom.
  • Mary Ellen Warner says, “A little after 6:30 this evening, Morris Plains experienced a 1.7 magnitude earthquake! I was in my kitchen, when all of a sudden I heard and felt a thunderous boom that shook the house. I quickly ran out to front of my house thinking there had been a car accident on the corner, but all was well. Then I called a neighbor who suggested it may have been a quake. He was right!”
  • Justin Efros says, “Survived my first earthquake. I can’t imagine what a ‘real one’ sounds like. This was loud. Didn’t feel any shaking.
  • Betsy Herold says, “Yepper . . . it was interesting. I thought it was the guy down the block playing on his Harley in the warm evening, but then he was nowhere to be seen.”
  • Valerie LaBell says “Anyone else feel that rumble? Morris Plains you were moving & shaking.”

Lt. Michael Koroski of the Morris Plains Police Department fielded calls from residents in Morris Plains, Morristown, and other locations.

You be the judge of the magnitude of the New Jersey earthquake!



Comments are closed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: