Flash floods, gale-force winds, solar eclipses and now…

Just another day in New York City. ICYMI (I did — I was in my car on Long Island at my mother’s and felt nothing) there was a 4.8 earthquake this morning that was felt not just here but around the tri-state area and beyond.

A. texted me and a neighbor at 10:26a: “Was that an earthquake?” Our neighbor was on the Upper West Side and felt nothing; A. said the building was shaking.

J., who lives above Kings, said it lasted 10 to 12 seconds and the floor and walls were shaking. “Very very scary,” she said. “Our shelves definitely shook, though nothing was broken.”

C. said he felt like the building was moving while he was in the shower. “I thought I was losing it,” he said. “I turned the shower off to see what it was.”

The US Geological Survey, which has a quick link to earthquakes going on around the world (turns out there were 44 in the past day), said it was a 4.8 — which I guess is no biggie — it’s considered “light” on the scale, just above “minor.” It goes up past an 8, which is “great.” Below is the USGS’ “shake map,” showing where people felt it.

For the record, New Jersey started it.

United States Geological Survey map

United States Geological Survey map

There’s some great intel on Wikipedia on our earthquake situation: the last biggish one here was in 1884 — a 5. (I remember being awakened in high school by my alarm clock, which was rocking back and forth by itself. That was probably 1982?). We are not on a fault like the Californians, but there is activity here from time to time, and Wikipedia said because of the geologic structure, the earthquakes that do happen are felt across a bigger region.

Here’s some geologic history: “Beginning about 200 million years ago, the present-day Atlantic Ocean began to form as plate tectonic forces began to rift apart the continent of Pangaea. The last major episode of geological activity to affect the bedrock in the New York area occurred about 100 million years ago, during the Mesozoic era, when continental rifting that led to the opening of the present-day Atlantic Ocean formed the Hartford and Newark Mesozoic rift basins.”