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M2.6 (NEIC)

1.0 km

Small M2.6 earthquake jolts downtown New York

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October 27, 2001

New York City, New York - A small earthquake measuring M2.6 (NEIC) was recorded in the wee hour of the morning in New Your City, shaking already frayed nerves from the September 11 terrorist attacks.

According to the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) in Golden, Colorado, the earthquake occurred at 1:42 a.m., EDT, October 27 (05:42 UTC), in downtown New York City near the corner of 6th Avenue and West 50 Street. (See a MapQuest street map).

Felt Reports

People in the epicentral area said the quake felt like an explosion and heard a large bang followed by light shaking, but there was no reports of items toppling from tables or shelves or of any injures. Did you feel this quake?

A number of people were frightened by the event, perhaps thinking it was another terrorist attack. The police stations were flooded by calls.

The quake was felt as far away as Long Island and New Jersey.

Several alarms were set off and bells rang.

Background Information

While earthquake activity is relatively common in Upstate New York, this was the largest tremor in the New York City area since a comparable event registering M2.5 on January 17 earlier this year. (See list)

There have been nine quake near downtown New York City in the last 30 years that have measured M3.0 or stronger with the strongest registering M4.0 on October 19, 1985.

No earthquakes have measured stronger than M4.0 this century, but a few have in the past and a pair have registered in the M5 range. The largest measured M5.5 and occurred August 10, 1884. the other is estimated to have registered M5.3 and happened November 30, 1783. Earthquakes of these magnitudes today would cause widespread damage and injuries.

Additional Seismic information links:

Seismograms from nearby USGS stations:
Mainstream media news reports:
Report update: 12:06:56 PM, Sunday, December 2, 2001

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