2.5-Magnitude quake alarms residents of Putnam County
By Clayton Smith
A “micro earthquake” took place at 10:46 a.m. on Saturday (July 5), in Garrison, roughly three miles south of the Appalachian Trail. The Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network reported the location to be 19 miles south of Poughkeepsie and 41 miles North of New York, with a rupture depth of 3.1 miles. No injuries were reported.
Though the minor earthquake emitted a loud boom, some were not aware of the earthquake when it happened, although others near the location of origin were startled. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was listed as category 5, 1 being the weakest and 10 being the most devastating. It did not occur along any fault lines, despite its close proximity to the Ramapo fault.
Jerry Nappi, manager of Nuclear Communications at Indian Point Energy Center commented:
Indian Point is capable of withstanding an earthquake more than 10,000 times stronger than the one experienced last weekend … Indian Point conducted a seismic analysis completed last year that demonstrates the plant is safe from the strongest earthquake that can expect to occur at this location. We utilize information from seismic researchers to understand what type of seismic events can occur and then compare that to the equipment, components, and structures at Indian Point to ensure that we are protected from the strongest earthquake that could occur.
John Armbruster of the Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network made clear that tiny earthquakes occur often without being noticed.
“On July 8, there was a 1.6 magnitude quake 3 kilometers west of Jersey City, New Jersey,” Armbruster said. “It was not felt and there were no reports.” He included that there aren’t trends suggesting an overall increase in earthquakes, since “Earthquakes around the world behave independently of each other. One magnitude 2 earthquake will only affect another within a few miles.”
Locals from Garrison to the Village of Cold Spring were shocked by the effects of the earthquake. David Hamel, a Garrison resident, was caught off guard by the event.
“I was sitting at my desk when I heard a loud boom followed by what seemed like a strong front of air rushing against my wall,” Hamel said. “The house audibly creaked and groaned. At this time I thought it was just a strong wind, or perhaps a military exercise at West Point. It wasn’t until later in the day that I found out the true source of the disturbance. It surprised me that there was even an earthquake, even more so that the epicenter was just a few minutes away from my home.”
Margaret Parr also had a dramatic experience in her home, located in the village. “The windows and front door were open,” Parr said. “I heard a very loud and lingering rumble and thought it might have been a big truck driving by. Both of my feet were on the ground and I felt them vibrating from the floor up.”