4.8 earthquake, aftershock hits NJ, felt in NYC

A 4.8-magnitude earthquake shook New York City and the Tri-State area Friday morning, followed by a magnitude 4.0 aftershock later that evening.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported a quake at 10:23 a.m. with a preliminary magnitude of 4.8 centered near Whitehouse Station in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. About an hour later, a 2.0-magnitude quake was reported in nearby Bedminster, and the USGC continues to report aftershocks.

Then, just before 6 p.m., a magnitude 4.0 aftershock hit the region, with the epicenter near Gladstone in New Jersey. 

Figures indicated that more than 42 million people might have felt the quake. Check out the USGS interactive map to see if your area was affected.

In a press conference Friday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said "an earthquake of this magnitude has not been felt in New York since 2011."

The FOX 5 NY newsroom on Manhattan's Upper East Side felt shaking and received reports of a quake from our crews in Queens and Long Island. People in Baltimore and Philadelphia also reported feeling the ground shake.

"It’s not that strong of an earthquake – I mean it’s pretty strong for this area – but compared to the one we just saw in Taiwan, it’s about a thousand times less powerful than that," Steve Holler, an associate professor at physics and engineering at Fordham University, told FOX 5 NY.

Earthquakes are less common on the eastern than western edges of the U.S. because the East Coast does not lie on a boundary of tectonic plates. The biggest Eastern quakes usually occur along the mid-Atlantic Ridge, which extends through Iceland and the Atlantic Ocean.

Quakes on the East Coast can still pack a punch, as its rocks are better than their western counterparts at spreading earthquake energy across long distances.

"If we had the same magnitude quake in California, it probably wouldn’t be felt nearly as far away," said USGS geophysicist Paul Caruso.

The FDNY said there were no initial reports of damage. Mayor Eric Adams had been briefed on the quake, his spokesperson Fabien Levy said, adding, "While we do not have any reports of major impacts at this time, we’re still assessing the impact."

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul posted on X that her team was assessing impacts and any possible damage.

WATCH | New Jersey earthquake shown on coffee shop Nest cam: 'Am I gonna die?'

FOX 5 NY's Lisa Evers spoke to residents of Inwood, Manhattan. A construction worker told her he was working on a rooftop when he felt the trembles.

"The whole roof was just shaking, we just ran down to the street, we made sure everyone was OK. It was pretty crazy … it put quite a scare into you," a construction worker told Evers.

Officials are advising people to avoid calling 911 unless they have an emergency.

Flight and traffic delays

Ground stops were temporarily reported at JFK and Newark airports. Delays were also reported on the George Washington Bridge and the Goethals Bridge due to volume.

Holland Tunnel traffic was also temporarily halted for inspection, as the NJ Transit rail service was subject to 20-minute delays due to bridge inspections.

Amtrak said it was inspecting its tracks and had speed restrictions in place throughout the busy Northeast Corridor. New Jersey 

Check the status of airports and roads below:

Newark Airport status

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JFK Airport status

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LaGuardia Airport status 

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NY roads closed

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NJ roads closed

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CT roads closed

Can destructive earthquakes hit NYC?

Quakes on the West Coast – and recently Japan – make headlines for their damage, but they're a threat to the East Coast as well.

"An earthquake is an earthquake, no matter [where] it happens," Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist, told FOX 5 NY. "The fact that earthquakes cannot be predicted is a large part of what makes them so frightening. We are much more afraid of something when we don't know when it's coming."

The New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation says the city's earthquake hazard is moderate. However, it is unclear if one of the fault lines could be a source of a strong earthquake. And the potential damage concerns many experts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.