Valley Stream shaken by east coast quake


One of the strongest earthquakes on the East Coast since 2011 was felt by thousands of people throughout the entire region on April 5.

A preliminary report by USGS states that there was a 4.8 magnitude earthquake near Lebanon, New Jersey at 10:23 a.m.  About one hour later, there was a 2.0 aftershock. The quake was along the Ramapo faultline, which cuts through northeastern New Jersey.

Light to moderate shaking was reported in surrounding areas, including in Valley Stream where residents took to Facebook, moments after the quake, to express their bewilderment at what had happened. Comments were full of chuckles mixed with chilling discomfort.

It wasn’t an earthquake, “it was my wife loading the washing machine incorrectly,” wrote Edward DeLucie.

“Entire house was shaking. Scary,” wrote Peg Marron Zydor. “Now getting phone alerts warning of an after shock.”

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said that there have not been any significant damages identified in Nassau County so far during a press conference at 12:30 p.m.

Blakeman said that no issues with power, gas, or water treatment plants have been reported in the county. Local hospitals have not indicaed that anyone needed to be hospitalized because of the earthquake.

“The feeling among the professionals, it is everything is under control, everything is safe, everything is secure at this time,” Blakeman said.

Blakeman said he checked in with multiple facilities and organizations on Long Island to make sure that there was no major damage. Such organizations included the Nassau County Police Department, fire marshall, National Grid, PSE&G, Veolia Water, Nassau County Community Medical Center, correctional facilty, and the Department of Public Works. The county will continue to get a full assessment of the damages caused by the earthquake.

“We have reached out to the supervisors of the three towns,” Blakeman said. “Jen Desena in North Hempstead, Joe Saladino in Oyster Bay, Don Clavin in Hempstead, Mayor Panzenbeck in Glen Cove and the city councilman in Long Beach.”

“I just want to stress that if this was a higher magnitude on the richter scale, this would be a very, very different type of press conference,” Blakeman said. “So I want to get back to theme of preparing for an emergency. You never know what you wake up to and I don’t think any of us here thought we would be talking about an earthquake here in Nassau County this morning.”

If an aftershock was forthcoming, Blakeman had advised residents to stand under a door way, as that is one of the most structurally sound locations in any building. He also noted to stand clear of anything that can fall on top of you.

“Other than that, there’s not much you can do to prepare for an earthquake,” Blakeman said.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Gov. Kathy Hochul said that her team “is assessing impacts and any damage that may have occurred,” and will update the public throughout the day.

“At this point, we’re heading into an hour and a half after the effects, we have not identified any life threatening situations,” Hochul said during a press conference at 11:30 a.m. that day. “But we are certainly asking our local law enforcement and emergency services teams to be on guard for that as well.”

“We are going to be reviewing all potentially vulnerable infrastructure sites throughout the state of New York,” Hochul continued. “That is criticially important in the aftermath of an event like this.”

During the press conference, Hochul said that John F. Kennedy Airport and Newark Airport are at “full ground stops” to assess any potential for after effects. Amtrak and the MTA are on full schedule, and there are no disruptions at this time.

“My office is closely monitoring the situation regarding today’s earthquake and I stand ready to work with federal, state and local leaders to deliver resources to address impact or damages,” Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. senator, stated in a release. “I urge New Yorkers to stay safe and follow the guidance of our first responders and public officials.”

In a press conference with representatives and scientists from the United States Geological Survey, Jessica Jobe, a research geologist with the organization, explained that earthquakes like this, while uncommon on the East Coast, are not unheard of. She added that the USGS would continue to monitor the situation, and that residents can potentially expect aftershocks in the following days and months.

“Earthquakes in this region are infrequent but not unexpected,” Jobe said. “There’s a history of similar sized earthquakes in the New York region over the last few hundred years, and as a reminder, a damaging earthquake can occur in the future, so remember to drop, cover and hold on if you feel shaking.”