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The Sentinel

The Student News Site of John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The Sentinel

The Student News Site of John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The Sentinel

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake in New York City

Alexandra Cortese
5th Avenue.

At 10:23 AM on April 5th, a magnitude 4.8 earthquake occurred in Tewksbury, New Jersey. Ripple effects could be felt throughout a large portion of the northeast, including New York City.

Impacts weren’t over after the first tremor, one of several being a magnitude 3.6 aftershock later that day at 5:59 PM originating near Gladstone, New Jersey. Earthquakes in this region aren’t unheard of, but they’re uncommon and this one came as a surprise to many people in the affected areas.

“I woke up to my whole bed shaking and I truly thought it was my heart palpitating,” said Susan Tracy, who lives in a Manhattan high-rise. “It’s a very disturbing feeling being woken up in a panic realizing I’m on the 44th floor experiencing an earthquake.”

Tracy was in a panic before she was informed that it was an earthquake.

“I jumped out of bed and started to focus on my phone and noticed it was from family members saying, “’did you feel that?'” Tracy said. “I then realized that we had an earthquake, I was very relieved it wasn’t my heart.”

Bernadette Cavaluzzi is a former Hell’s Kitchen resident who moved to Croton-on-Hudson, closer to the epicenter of the earthquake.

“I was in bed, and I felt the whole bed shake and heard things shake in the bedroom,” Cavaluzzi said. “I ran downstairs to check on the boiler and frantically checked out the window for construction.”

Similarly to Tracy, Cavaluzzi felt the earthquake, but didn’t realize what was happening.

“I knew there was major movement,” Cavaluzzi said. “I finally put on the news and was shaking from the shock.”

Jan Dudkiewicz who lives on the 1st floor of a brownstone in Manhattan, also panicked during the initial impact of the earthquake.

“I was laying in bed watching TV and all of a sudden I felt the bed vibrating, I thought the building was coming down.”  Dudkiewicz said. “I ran in to get my stepson and he said he felt something too.”

Dudkiewicz is fearful about potential earthquakes in the future and is still shaken up by it.

“It’s a terrible feeling, I’m 80-something years old and I never felt anything like that before, it’s very scary,” Dudkiewicz said. “I’m deathly afraid of going underground, I just hope it doesn’t happen again.”

Renee Row lives on the 24th floor of a Manhattan building, both she and her dog, Winston, felt the tremors.

“I was laying in bed with Winston and all of a sudden I feel shaking and it’s making noise,” Row said. “Winston immediately looked up and I’m saying, “oh my gosh is that an earthquake?”.”

Row wasn’t overly startled by the earthquake, but it caught her off guard.

“I called my old neighbor in the building and she said, “yep, I felt it too”,” Row said. “I lived in California for a while and never felt an earthquake, this is my second one in New York, I was a little nervous.”

Michael Mannix, who lives in Manhattan and is a student at City Tech College, felt the earthquake as well and found out about it from the news.

“My chair was shaking under me,” Mannix said. “I looked on the news to see if there was anything about it and I saw we had an earthquake.”

Not everyone who felt the earthquake felt panic, some people weren’t bothered by it.

“I definitely felt it was shaking,” said Ibi Firestone, who lives on the 37th floor in a building in Manhattan. “I started laughing and sure enough it was an earthquake.”

Firestone experienced a more severe earthquake before, so this one wasn’t as intense in comparison.

“I was in California once and that was really scary everything was really moving,” Firestone said. “This was very quiet, and it was unintrusive, it didn’t hurt me or anyone.”

Others didn’t feel the initial earthquake at all, and only heard about it after the fact.

“I didn’t feel the first earthquake because there’s so much construction going on outside my window, that’s all I hear in the morning,” said Carol Puccio, a resident on a lower floor in a Manhattan building. “I think I felt the aftershock while I was sitting on my couch because I felt a slight vibration.”

Putting the magnitude of the earthquake in perspective, a 4.8 magnitude is considered to be a lighter earthquake, but the region it impacted isn’t used to seeing earthquakes of that magnitude. New York Governor Kathy Hochul stated it was one of the largest earthquakes on the east coast in the last century.

Even though there were warnings sent to phones throughout the northeast about the earthquake, New York City Mayor Eric Adams stated there weren’t major damage reports, and New Yorkers should continue to go about their day.

There was an aftershock around 6 p.m. on Friday. Aftershocks are smaller earthquakes that happen close to the site of the original earthquake. According to the USGS as of 4/6/2024, there’s a 60 percent chance of a magnitude 3 or higher aftershock occurring within the next week, a 9 percent chance of a magnitude 4 or higher, and less than 1 percent chance of anything stronger.

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About the Contributor
Alexandra Cortese
Alexandra Cortese, Editor-in-Chief

Alexandra Cortese is a sophomore at John Jay College. She is majoring in law & society and is minoring in English literature.

Alexandra has previously served as the Web Editor for The Sentinel during the 2023 spring semester, as the Managing Editor for the fall 2023 semester, and is now the Editor-in-Chief. Alexandra’s love for writing motivates her to still write freelance and has been doing so since September 2022.

In the near future, Alexandra plans to prepare her law school application materials, which is the next step in fulfilling her life-long dream of becoming the first attorney and college graduate in her immediate family.

Alexandra is also a member of The John Jay Honors Program and was a research assistant at The Legal Disruption Project during the Fall 2023 semester. 

Alexandra’s favorite story she has written is “Greek Life at CUNY.” She feels Greek life is controversial and her story pushes the envelope on that subject matter in the voice of John Jay students. Alexandra’s story dives into the stained reputation of Greek life and how John Jay sorority and fraternity members are challenging that narrative by emphasizing diversity, equity concerns, and community service.

Alexandra’s favorite quote is “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I'm Possible!” - Audrey Hepburn.

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