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4.8 magnitude earthquake in New Jersey shakes East End

Tremors from a 4.8 magnitude earthquake near Whitehouse Station, NJ were felt across the East End on Friday morning.

George Lomaga, a retired astronomy and geology professor who taught at Suffolk County Community College, said that the earthquake was rather shallow, only about a mile deep underground and that deeper earthquakes tend to cause more damage.

Mr. Lomaga said Friday morning’s earthquake was caused by bedrock shifts and slides in the Ramapo Fault, which runs through New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Mr. Lomaga said to think of the shaking felt along the East End like the “ripples caused when throwing a stone in the water.”

Based on the movements noted in the fault line, Mr. Lomaga said it’s possible to have an earthquake every 10 to 20 years. He also noted that aftershocks are possible, but there is no way to tell if they will happen or be felt.

Southold Police Captain Steven Grattan said that the department received many inquiries following the tremors but that no injuries were reported. The department could not confirm if a downed wire on Cox Lane was related to the quake.

One family got a two-for-one deal out of the earthquake. 

Hank Marsh of California said he and his wife were heading to Quebec to see the eclipse on Monday. 

The family had flown in from California to New York and had some time to spare before they headed north to Quebec. 

“We always want to see the Big Duck,” he said. “It’s kind of like a mascot for our family, and as we pulled in, and we heard on the news that there was an earthquake in New York.”

Mr. Marsh sad it seemed like an odd-off.

“We came for the eclipse and we stayed for the earthquake, he said.

Another man said he was in the duck while the the tremors went off. 

“I thought it was a tractor trailer going by,” he said. “But then I was told it was an earthquake.”

This story is developing and may be updated.