Streams

Earthquake Tremors Shake City, Felt Throughout Northeast

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Following the east coast earthquake Soho residents evacuated their buildings and gathered in Soho Park Following the east coast earthquake Soho residents evacuated their buildings and gathered in Soho Park (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

Buildings in New York City shook briefly Tuesday afternoon as an earthquake originating in Virginia rocked the East Coast.

A tremor was felt throughout the Northeast as a 5.8 earthquake in Virginia could be felt in Washington, D.C., New York City and even in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where President Barack Obama is vacationing.

Government buildings in the city, including City Hall, were evacuated. The 26-story federal courthouse in lower Manhattan began swaying and hundreds of people were seen leaving the building. Court officers weren't letting people back in.

“Like people up and down the East Coast, New Yorkers across the five boroughs felt the effect of this afternoon’s earthquake in Virginia," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. "Thankfully, there are no reports of significant damage or injuries in New York City at this time. As ever, we urge New Yorkers to call 911 only in cases of actual emergencies."

New York City's 911 system saw a significant burst of volume due to the earthquake.  NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said that on a comparable August weekday, the departmnet gets an average of 10,000 calls. By 3pm on Tuesday, 911 had answered 22,000 calls.

Police said there were no reports of building collapses or significant damage as a result of the earthquake. MTA service was not affected by the tremor.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state is reviewing hydroelectric plants, nuclear power plants, key bridges and tunnels and other critical infrastructure.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said there were no reports of damage to the Garden State's infrastructure, including roads, bridges, transit systems, power grids and nuclear power plants.

The quake sent hundreds of people spilling into the street a block from the White House, with other buildings evacuated from North Carolina to New York City.

"Someone pointed to the lights — they were swinging back and forth, and that's when we decided to leave," said Gareth Dacosta, who was working at 155 6th Avenue in Soho when he felt the earthquake.

Ashley Elysee, who works in the same building, said it was the first earthquake she had ever felt.

"I noticed the earthquake when a chandelier was shaking above my head and I panicked."  She added, "I was really surprised. It was the first earthquake I actually felt. I know they happen here, but I've never felt them before."

Shaking was felt at the White House and all over the East Coast, as far south as Chapel Hill, N.C. Parts of the Pentagon, White House and Capitol were evacuated. The Park Service closed all the monuments and memorials on the National Mall, ceiling tiles fell at Reagan National Airport, and the National Cathedral sustained "significant damage," with three capstones breaking off the main tower. The quake was located near Mineral, Va., in Louisa County.

"That is a strong earthquake, and it's particularly strong for this part of the country," said Arthur Lerner-Lam of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. "That is was felt up here, actually, is not that much of a surprise. Rocks in the East Coast actually transmit earthquake energy very effectively."

 With the Associated Press

Did you feel the earthquake tremors? Tell us in the comments section below.

 


Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Following the east coast earthquake Soho residents evacuated their buildings and gathered in Soho Park.

Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Businesses evacuate personnel to Soho Square

Stephen Nessen/WNYC

Following the east coast earthquake Soho residents evacuated their buildings and gathered in Soho Park

Tags:

More in:

Comments [208]

I was in Minnesota so I didn't even feel it. It just suddenly popped up on my Facebook and on memebase.com that an earthquake had happen. Needless to say, and no pun intended, I was a little shook up because I have friends in the region. But I figured since many of them posted, "What earthquake? There was an earthquake?" that they were all fine.

Aug. 26 2011 11:53 AM

I know the West Coast building codes have seismic standards. I wonder how stringent the building standards are on the East Coast for earthquake design?

Aug. 26 2011 11:52 AM

I have almost no knowledge of earthquakes. I know they take place in California, but when the building was swaying an earthquake was the last thing I had in mind. This is a pretty old building so that I thought it could have been collapsing or something grand was happening outside. I have to admit, living in a post 9/11- New York City, I also thought about the possibility of something happening.

Aug. 26 2011 11:51 AM

Lots of phone calls and text messages, all of them uninformative, from NYC, NYS and other official entities. All said "Earthquake alert," or something very similar, with no further information, instructions, advice, or anything else constructive. What is the point of telling us there is an earthquake alert without telling us how to prepare or what to do if another one comes. Yes, they are VERY rare here, but that is precisely why none of us has any clue what to do. On the west coast they have earthquake drills and people know what to do if the ground starts rumbling. Our official agencies need to be more informative.

Aug. 26 2011 11:49 AM

My four children were all taking their afternoon nap. I couldn't believe it at first--I thought it was just an effect of my perpetual state of exhaustion. (The four kids, right?) And then I noticed my daughters pink plastic ball moving slightly from side to side on the floor. That's when I knew it was an earthquake and I wasn't imagining it. I am a California native and it still freaked me out. I kept thinking, is this it? What am I going to do with three babies (triplets) and a toddler? What about my husband in Manhattan? Why didn't we ever get that 72-hour-kit together???

Aug. 26 2011 11:46 AM

I live in Gramercy and when the building shook I had thoughts of 9/11 and thought "what happened now?" I didn't think "earthquake" but thought there may have been another attack. My heart was racing for a long period of time. I was downtown for 9/11 and walked home with ashes in my hair. I never thought those feelings could come back so strong.

Aug. 26 2011 11:44 AM

The main way in which it's affected my day and those of many of my friends is that the chatter on the Internet is now utterly distracting. Everyone is tweeting, blogging, and sharing information. Most of what's being shared is redundant or frankly not too compelling (it was, after all, not a damaging quake in NYC), but I can't ignore all of the tweets and other messages coming my way. There goes any shot I had at a productive afternoon!

Aug. 26 2011 11:43 AM
Carol

I live in Manhattan but I was a bit north of Westport, Connecticut when I felt the tremors - -while sitting against the back wall of a garage.

Aug. 25 2011 04:53 PM
Rosemary Kremer from North Truro, MA

Sitting at my desk in North Truro, Ma., I felt the desk begin to sway. Could this be an earthquake? Impossible, I thought, this is Cape Cod. They don't have earthquakes here. (I used to live in S.F.) I felt dizzy and nauseous and decided it was a "senior" moment--my brain wasn't getting enough oxygen for some reason. I'm 70, so this isn't too farfetched. Then I felt another episode with swaying and dizziness and decided I would definitely call the doctor. Some minutes later I learned about the earthquake. So it wasn't me. Hey!

Aug. 25 2011 03:10 PM
Jack from Lincoln Center NYPL

Taking a cross-town MTA bus on Wednesday, I asked the female driver if she had experienced the EarthQuake! I loved her response: "The only thing this bus feels is 'pot holes', bumps, and nasty passengers. Man this bus is 'Earth-Quake-Proof'."

Aug. 25 2011 01:25 PM
Roz from Manasquan, New Jersey

We were sitting on beach chairs at the beach at Manasquan, New Jersey, my husband and I and two friends. It was a beautiful beach day and as I was talking I felt the vibrations under my feet. As the song goes, "I felt the earth move under my feet." "What was that?" I said, as the vibrations continued. I looked at the ocean and said "Tsunami?" Everyone said they didn't know and I looked around at others sitting nearby and you can see that everyone was puzzled. Some people actually packed up and left. Some people were running off the beach. I was laughing thinking wow this is the strongest earthquake I had ever felt, and then it was over. It lasted at least 30 seconds. I never realized how long 30 seconds was and how much can occur in such a short time. I will never forget this experience.

Aug. 24 2011 10:19 PM
Steve Ward from Dobbs Ferry, NY

I was sitting in a conference room at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry. At first I felt momentarily queasy, then I realized I was feeling a mild shaking. It was subtle enough that I attributed to some nearby construction, but I definitely felt the sensation. Twenty minutes later someone mentioned that there was an earthquake and I put two and two together.

I lived in Astoria during the 2001 earthquake, and when that happened i knew right away what it was. This one was much more subtle at my location.

Aug. 24 2011 04:24 PM
Mary Norman from Tenafly NJ

I was with my family crossing the Long Island Sound en route to pick up a new puppy in Connecticut. It was one of the largest ferries and had been an incredibly smooth ride through almost the entire trip. My son and I went to the snack bar at around 2:00 and had a hard time walking up the isle. I had to let him hang onto me. At first I assumed we had come across some heavy currents or a few huge waves but my husband came out of the TV area and told us about the quake.

Aug. 24 2011 02:46 PM
Damon Campagna from NYC Fire Museum, Spring Street between Hudson and Varick

I work at the NYC Fire Museum on Spring Street. At first I thought the vibration might be a large truck running through the Holland Tunnel but as it went on I knew there was something else to it -- the bells on all our old rigs started ringing by themselves!

Aug. 24 2011 02:39 PM
Joanelle from Fairfield NJ

Felt it sitting in a parking lot in Hackettstown, NJ - but my question is that since this was caused by shifting plates and we are on the Ramapo Fault here in NJ/NY, might we see any additional "action" from the Ramapo Fault here as a result of this earthquake in VA.?

Aug. 24 2011 01:32 PM
Jack from New York City

I was at Lincoln Center's NYPL, sitting at one of the 20 foot long, heavy cedar tables typing on my computer on the second floor. I became aware that the table was shifting right to left. I assumed that a friend had observed me there, and to play a joke on me, was shoving the table to get my attention. I thought to myself, 'I am not going to give that person notice that I am aware that they are shaking the table.' The shaking still continued, so I looked in the direction of the shaking . . . there was no one at the end of the table. There were about seven assorted people sitting along the table; I looked at them individually to see if they were responsible for the table's shaking; they were all gazing up at the ceiling. Having grown up in California, I have experienced many earthquakes and was always alerted to one coming by dogs, cats or birds as they were well aware of an earthquake before it struck. I glanced at the man sitting opposite me, who was white as a sheet. To calm him I blurted out . . . "only the subway going by!", which I knew was hooey. A woman further down the table blurted out: "They must be welding on the construction on the roof!"
I glanced at the clock to see the time: the hands showed - 1:51 p.m. I had heard earlier in the week on the radio that Colorado, where I was born and spent my early life before moving to California, had experienced an earthquake, which I found unusual for that state because they seldom experience the trembling sensation that is connected to a Rock-Concert. That just does not happen!
Going to the third floor, the guard 'Robin' was nervously making calls on her cel-phone! I asked: "You been shakin up here?" She looked pale as well and blurted out: "WE JUST HAD AN EARTHQUAKE!" I'm calling my family in Virginia to see if they are all right; the quake went as far as Washington D.C. and Boston!"
When I returned to the second floor seat, everyone was calmer because one of the men had got onto the internet news source to find out that the news that an Earthquake certainly did hit New York City. I made the comment: "Having grown-up in California and experiencing many 'quakes', my mother's response always was: "GO BACK TO BED, don't bother me!"
So, I waited the day out and that night, "I went back to bed!"

Aug. 24 2011 12:52 PM
Amy Dattner-Levy from baldwin ny

As I sat reading The Times Obits, looking forward to the "Sound Check" presentation on the music of Disney cartoons, my chair swayed, the chandelier swung and the water in the pool sloshed. As the swaying continued, I called to my husband and we watched the swinging lights. We switched to CBS 880, sorry. The announcers were discussing the earthquake. "Sound Check" started, then was replaced by Earthquake Coverage.

Aug. 24 2011 12:18 PM
Mercedes Batista from West Village

I was seating on the toilet when it began to move sideways. The back wall thumped really hard.
And everything in the kitchen began to rattle really loud. Nothing felt. Then everything was normal.
The people in my brown stone building at that time began to evacuate carrying stuff they prize.
I went to subway station to fulfill an appointment, my neighbors dissuaded me from doing that. Who knew I was going to stop from doing something due to an earthquake in NY. I love it.

Aug. 24 2011 12:06 PM

I was at Rockaway Beach and just gotten out of the water. I was laying on my stomach and felt the earth undulate beneath me. I thought it was some guys horsing around near me or that I was dizzy from swimming. But then I thought, was that an earthquake? I looked up and people sitting near me were looking around and then one guy said, "Did you feel that?" And we all said yes. It brought a certain camaraderie to about six people who hadn't said anything to each other all day.

Aug. 24 2011 11:19 AM
Tara from Holmdel, NJ

My son (who was asleep) and I were sitting in the car waiting for my husband to finish up in the doctor's office. Even though the area outside the office was heavily under construction it was pretty quiet and still. All of a sudden I feel my car going up and down, as if someone's exerting force on it to make it move. I became annoyed thinking "Who would have the nerve to do such a thing to a stranger's car?"

After a few moments (and my finding out that no one was touching my car) it stopped. A few minutes later I heard some of the construction workers talking about "the earthquake" and it clicked! I couldn't believe it. I've never experienced that and I was amazed.

Aug. 24 2011 10:38 AM
Lee Maute from Mountain Lakes, NJ

I was sitting up in a recliner in our family room when it began to shake gently from side to side. I heard my husband's footsteps on the floor above, but that never made the chair shake before. Then a few slight tremors followed, and I thought it must be an earthquake! First time in my life, so I can take that off my bucket list!

Aug. 24 2011 10:33 AM
Judith

I was sitting on the grass on a beach towel near a community pool when the ground began to shake. At first I thought that perhaps I was dizzy, had swum too many laps, but when it continued, and I clearly could tell that the ground was actually moving, I realized that it must be a minor tremor. I was in awe!

Aug. 24 2011 09:57 AM
Toots from Shelter Island, NY

My 12 1/2 year old grand daughter was outside on the porch reading and came into the house and asked 'had anyone felt that or am I crazy?" None of us had felt anything unusual, but 10 minutes later the emails and twitter messages started to arrive - obviously she was not crazy!

Aug. 24 2011 09:41 AM
MaryAnn K. Rossi from new brunswick

On a lunch break at work in my car in the parking lot. Relaxing....reclining with my eyes closed. It felt like someone gently sat on my bumper, stood and sat again. The wavy motion nearly made me seasick.

Aug. 24 2011 09:35 AM
jackdoitcrawford from Silver Spring MD

I thought it was the guys outside who were installing a replacement sewer. They had made the house shake a little a week ago with a compacting machine. So I was really PO'd and I ran outside and yelled, "What the hell are you guys doin?" Then I didn't see any machinery around and I went back in kinda scratching my head and continued my ESL lesson with a guy in Russia. I didn't get it until my wife called as the lesson was ending. People in DC are going ape, closing and evacuating schools, running the Metro at 15 MPH, letting all the government employees go home early.

Aug. 24 2011 07:59 AM
Struct Eng NY from NY

NPR had an architect (schwartz) on this morning. Architects do not design structure - structural engineers design structure. His comments on earthquakes and the capacity of ny buildings to withstand quakes was at times partially incorrect and at other times completely wrong. Why people are willing to offer opinions so freely when they are only marginally informed is beyond me.

In a moderate to large EQ expect all row house type (brownstone, 2-4 story brick etc) to perform very poorly with a large majority collapsing. The same goes for cast iron.

Aug. 24 2011 07:56 AM
Phoebe

Indian Point energy center is built to withstand up to a 6.1 earthquake. Does this not disturb people? Whatever happened to the review they said they would conduct after the Japan earthquake and nuclear fallout?

Aug. 24 2011 07:45 AM
Julie from Midtown high rise

Interesting that WNYC has a report (8/24 7:40 AM) about what types of buildings felt the earthquake better. I find it more interesting that most women in my office felt it and most men did not.

Aug. 24 2011 07:40 AM
LH from Here

I was home in my room when I noticed a glass fall to the floor. I immediately knew there had been an earthquake. It put somewhat a damper on me enjoying my fourth 4 Bacardi & OJs that hour, the last one prompting a glass-in-hand break-dancing performance.

Aug. 24 2011 12:45 AM
Lois from Tribeca

I was sitting in my office on the 15th floor at Hudson and Leonard Streets in Tribeca when my chair started to migrate across the floor. Then the building seemed to be moving away from its foundation. when I looked out of my window, I could see that my building was moving and so were the other ones across the street. This is my third earthquake so I had no doubt what was happening. some people say I should be fine now -- hours later, but my legs still feel like rubber. To look out your high window and see tall buildings move and sway while the floor shifts beneath you is not easily forgotten.

Aug. 24 2011 12:19 AM
Tim from NJ

While on a conference call with Toronto my entire office building felt the earthquake. And the wild thing is that they felt it in Toronto as well!

Aug. 23 2011 11:56 PM
David from Brooklyn

I work nights. Not only did I sleep through the earthquake, I slept through my neighbor ringing my doorbell to find out if I was ok! Down the hall in her apartment, books were falling out of her bookcases. I had glass objects hanging off the edges of shelves, and they were undisturbed when I woke up.

Aug. 23 2011 11:35 PM
Jean from Long Island

My daughter and I were at our kitchen table when we felt the house moving. My daughter thought our house was falling down for some reason. Because I'm from San Francisco, I said I think it's an earthquake. She continued eating her sandwich while I sipped my coffee. What, we worry!?

Aug. 23 2011 11:25 PM
matt s. from Bloomfield, NJ

I was sitting at my desk when I realized the floor was shaking. I looked up and the water in my bottle was waving back and forth as if I was shaking it. Having lived in NY/NJ all of my life I have never experienced an earthquake but I immediately knew that this must be one. I was ready to get under the table but the tremors only lasted 20 seconds. Needless to say I was relieved.

Aug. 23 2011 11:08 PM
Miriam from Astoria

I was sitting at my desk at work in Harlem, and I felt the floor vibrating. I was wondering if it was something in the building, but a co-worker said that 1) he's lived in California so he knows what an earthquake feels like, and 2) he was on the phone to his wife in midtown Manhattan, and she said she felt it.

Aug. 23 2011 10:49 PM
Winn from Long Island

We were talking over dinner as a family and I realized that we, in the NYC area, now have a less tragic "where were you when..." common experience.

Aug. 23 2011 10:49 PM
Mary Crescenzo from Peekskill, NY

The gutters and downspouts on my house in Peekskill, NY began to shake and rattle; I thought it was an unexpected wind but later realized it was the earthquake!

Aug. 23 2011 10:48 PM
Karin from Jersey City, NJ

I was in my 4th floor office in Jersey City and felt my chair shake. It's quite an old building and when I felt the floor shaking I thought the building might be collapsing. I asked a co-worker if he felt it and he said that the man he was on the phone with was in Maywood and he felt it too. We decided it must be an earthquake. Quite scary.

Aug. 23 2011 10:42 PM
Lisa from NYC

I was sitting at home watching TV and surfing the web on my laptop. All of a sudden, I felt the table shake, and I looked over to some flowers in a vase on the table, and they were swaying back and forth. Instinctively, I knew it was an earthquake, though I've never felt one before. I just went back to what I was doing, with no thought that it was any big deal. But a few minutes later, I was curious, so I tried to confirm by googling "earthquake in NYC," and saw one article had been posted on some site. Then, just after 2:00, they broke into programming, and continued non-stop local coverage of a 30 second event where no one was hurt, and there was no damage anywhere. Can you say "ridiculous, sensationalistic media coverage?" What a world!

Aug. 23 2011 10:39 PM
Winn from Long Island

My son said he was leaning against the wall in bed and felt it move. He went to post "Earthquake!?" on facebook and saw his friends in Maryland had already posted--then realized he was watching the progress of the earthquake through social media...!  A day to remember for us quake-nubes on the east coast!

Aug. 23 2011 10:35 PM
Karen from Maplewood, NJ

I was in a movie theater in Maplewood, NJ watching a 1:25 showing of Winnie the Pooh with two of my kids. I was a bit drowsy but became alert when I felt the floor shaking. Having grown up in NYC I have experienced rumbling and shaking in buildings over subway lines. But as I tried to sort out what was going on, I remembered that I was not in NYC and there are no subways in Maplewood! The theater is not even close enough to the train tracks to get such vibrations. It crossed my mind that it was an earthquake but I disregarded that thought. I got a text message an hour later that confirmed it was an earthquake.

Aug. 23 2011 10:25 PM
Winn

Long Island: I watched the medicine cabinet doors shake. My daughter heard her running medals (hanging on the wall) make "tink tink" sounds. And a stack of my husbands books fell over.  A day to remember for us quake-nubes on the east coast!

Aug. 23 2011 10:24 PM
Sara

I was sitting in front of my computer facing a window when I felt and thought I saw my desk move just slightly... I thought it may have just been an illusion as some branches swade in front of my window... or maybe verdigo. It was rather strange so I took note of the time which was 1:46PM. Later that day I heard about the earthquake on the news!

Aug. 23 2011 10:22 PM
Warren from Morristown NJ

Didn't notice anything in Morristown NJ Heard Lopate comment he felt it.

Aug. 23 2011 10:21 PM
Mary from Staten Island

I was sitting in my apt. on Staten Island typing away. Though it may not be believable, it is true: I HAD JUST TYPED THE WORD 'EARTHQUAKE' when the walls started to creak. I thught the folks upstairs were up to some kind of weirdness, but I couldn't figure out why my desk chair felt unstable under me. And then the walls creaked again. And then the 8-inch spring cat toy with the stuffed mouse at its tip began to sway at a 45 degree angle from side to side.

Well, I'm from the Midwest. I know what to do in an emergency. It was instinctual. I grabbed the cat and ran to the bathroom which is about the safest place to be . . . in a tornado.

Jeez.

Then the trembling stopped.

Aug. 23 2011 10:19 PM
Pam from Rockville Centre, NY

I turned into the parking lot at the local Stop and Shop toward the end of the Leonard Lopate Show. The conversation with Matt Matousek was pretty good so I pulled into a spot, shut off the engine, and continued to listen (as I often do to catch the end of a segment). The first I heard about the quake was Leonard's comment about the rumble, and Matt's suggestion about the subway being the cause. I wasn't sure if the show was live, or if this was a War of the Worlds type spoof. I felt no ground move, though others nearby said they had. I was a thrall of the spoken work and missed the action on the street.

Aug. 23 2011 10:10 PM
Steph from Jackson Heights

Knew pretty quickly it was a quake, having been less than 5 miles from the Northridge Calif 1994 6.4 quake.. we only started to act, quietly moving Nursing Home residents into their rooms after hearing glass crashing in the 6th floor elevator shaft, & cables started sounding like loud broken piano strings.

Aug. 23 2011 10:05 PM
Toby from Brooklyn, NY

I was attending a GoToMeeting from a conference room in my office I Sunset Park, Brooklyn NY, led by our vendor located in Virginia Beach.  She felt it first, of course, telling us her house was shaking and we all said how weird...  Within literally not more than a minute, we started shaking, too, the conference call dropped, and we deliberated climbing under the table when the fire alarm system instructed us to evacuate.
Fortunately, everyone is fine, with the possible exception of our vendor's AC unit, condition TBD.

Aug. 23 2011 09:58 PM
Susann

Did I, I'm on vacation down in DC. I was on the corner at Pennsylvania Ave. & 12th. At first I thought it was just the vibrations from the Metro, but it intensified and lasted too long to be a train. As I looked down I could see the bricks in the sidewalk move. My next thought was that it was a bomb. I honestly thought I might fall through. Within minutes every building in all of DC evacuated out onto the street like a massive fire drill . Throughout it all people were friendly and helpful. In the end we were all grateful it wasn't worse.

Aug. 23 2011 09:56 PM
Natalie Picoe from Jersey City, NJ

I was sitting at my home office desk with my assistant when my desk started shaking. I asked my assistant to stop shaking the table. She said I'm not shaking the table. Then the whole house started shaking and and she said "We're in an earth quake." She knows because she's from San Francisco and had been in them before. I ran downstairs to look outside while the babysitter was running upstairs. She said "We're having an earthquake. All the plants on the terrace were shaking. Luckily the baby didn't wake up. I received a text from a friend telling me to watch the news and to be careful of mass transit.

Aug. 23 2011 09:53 PM
George Franz

I was in my Chelsea apt, working quietly on the computer, and I FELT ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I am reading all of these accounts of people sensing the earth's movement, and I thought it important to note that I, along with how many others??? felt NADA ZIP ZERO.

Aug. 23 2011 09:52 PM
cara from Prospect Heights

I was at home in Brooklyn, bending over to put something away in the fridge, when I felt the floor rolling under me. I thought I must be having a dizzy spell, but when I stood up, I sensed the upper cabinets and sink counter moving too and put my hands on them to verify. Then I realized it must be an earthquake. It only lasted a few seconds. It felt like being on a ferry boat.

Aug. 23 2011 09:49 PM
Ron from Upper East Side

I was working in the WFC across the street and overlooking the WTC memorial. Everyone on the 46th Floor felt the movement and a bump! I went to a window and looked out over at the memorial - nothing unusual. It didn't take more than 10 seconds, with no alarm sound or flashing lights, and no announcement, for everyone to head for the stairs and exit in a swift and orderly fashion. My fried mozzarella sticks and Mexican Chicken Bean-Rice soup still sit on my desk.

Aug. 23 2011 09:36 PM
Ed Butler from New York

It reminded me of not getting my quarter's worth in the "Magic Fingers" bed at the Not Feeling Myself Single Room occupancy boarding house on 8th Avenue in the late 1960s.

Aug. 23 2011 09:29 PM
Kate from NYC

I was sitting at my desk in lower manhattan with my headphones on rocking out to some beats when I felt the shaking in my stomach. At first I didn't know if it was just me, but I looked around and saw my colleagues standing and questioning the events. The rumble motioned my body and I imagined a bomb exploding in the subway beneath me. Without question I booked it. The evacuations only reinforced the fear. I soon heard of the quake and it left me a little at ease but still a little shook.

Aug. 23 2011 09:24 PM
Tom from Red Bank from Madison & 40th, 13th floor

I was in a small meeting in my office in midtown and one of my colleagues noticed my lamp swaying. She's from CA, so she immediately knew it was an earthquake, and I could see she was right. The picture on my wall was shaking. But if she hadn't said something, I might never have noticed it.

Aug. 23 2011 09:24 PM
Eric from New Brunswick

I was sitting at my desk at work, and someone asked if the building was shaking. I stood up, and sure enough it was. I was a little confused and caught by surprise. I had a breif thought go through my head, and it was I didn't see this in my Outlook calendar. I guess when I'm surprised at work that's the first thing I think. I then stood there for a while looking at the window and its blinds wondering what's next. I then looked at a nearby doorway. I was debating on staying at my cube or going to the doorway. Then it stopped. I was actually hoping it was going to shake a little more.

Aug. 23 2011 09:20 PM
Steven from Suffern, NY

Driving when car started to wobble.
Going through my mind.
First, I do not remember this road being so uneven before..and then, oh what a time to have a flat!!

Aug. 23 2011 09:18 PM
Charles from Williamsburg, Brooklyn

I was bending over vacuuming, when I noticed the floor wavering. I thought I was experiencing a head rush. So I stood up and looked around to see everything swaying. Incredulous, I looked over at my shelves of liquor; all the liquid was swishing around in the bottles. I turned off the vacuum and looked out the window, I could tell the building was moving in relation to the environment. What a wild ride. The cat was unphased.

Aug. 23 2011 09:05 PM
Harriet from Great Barrington, MA

Sitting in the Brewery Pub in Great Barrington with my daughter-in-law and grandson. The building swayed and the tables shook. My son called me on my cell. He was in NY and called to tell me his couch was shaking. I told him about the tables. We were both were freaked out. Glad no one was hurt.

Aug. 23 2011 09:02 PM
Harriet from Great Barrington, MA

Sitting in the Brewery Pub in Great Barrington with my daughter-in-law and grandson. The building swayed and the tables shook. My son called me on my cell. He was in NY and called to tell me his couch was shaking. I told him about the tables. We were both were freaked out. Glad no one was hurt.

Aug. 23 2011 08:58 PM
RB from Long Island

I was in my office about to perform a biopsy on a patient. felt the tremble, figured what it was, and waited it out until aftershocks over. As it was going on, I felt a bit wobbly on my stool and watched as a lamp and curtain subtly waved back and forth. a number of my staff felt somewhat disoriented for some time after but I felt fine and got right back to work.

Aug. 23 2011 08:56 PM
Janine Bisbee

I was at work in Somerville NJ on a high stool in front of my computer. I felt the ground shake, but since I work at a furniture dealership, I thought maybe someone was moving some LARGE furniture on the other side of the wall I was on.. I thought, is there a basement I am not aware of in this building where they are doing some work? Then, other people started saying, did you feel that!

Aug. 23 2011 08:56 PM
armand from nyc

I was working in the lab on the 14th floor of the research building at mount sinai, when i felt the building vibrate slightly and sway back and forth. At first i thought it was just me, but then realized what was going on. Just as I was about to say something, my co-worker walked in and asked, "did you feel that?!!"

Aug. 23 2011 08:49 PM
Hesch in The LES from The Lower East Side

Just before 2pm, I was sitting on the foot of my bed, looking at this phone screen, when it felt like the bed was wobbling - it's a platform bed, I have to WORK to move it! I looked up, the new flat screen TV was wobbling on it's little pedestal, and so were the book cases and lamps. Earthquake! 30-45 seconds of jello under the 7th floor! Just moved a couple of weeks ago, so there's nothing delicate (or much at all) on the shelves to fall. Texted 10 family & friends - I've never experienced 'quake like this!
I see reports it was a 5.9 in Virginia, and there are no reported injuries in NYC.

Aug. 23 2011 08:40 PM
Christopher Rothwell from Brooklyn, NY

I was having lunch with my daughter at a restaurant in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, when I felt an unusual vibration or tremor. At first I thought maybe there was some mescaline in my mesclun salad, but my daughter felt the tremor, as did others in the restaurant. The sensation made me feel uneasy, even nauseated, sort of like what I feel when I hear Rick Perry speak.

Aug. 23 2011 08:36 PM
Kathy Hugh from Dutchess County NY

I was watching my daughter sit on top of the scariest, highest ride at a county fair (about 2 hours north of NYC). She was about 10 stories up in the air in a little seat, ready to spin around. I was feeling a bit "mom anxious" as it was, and then the ride guy suddenly brought her down. She thought that he had seen the kid behind her intentionally shaking the ride car around too much, and asked him to get the kid to stop. The ride guy told her that wasn't the kid doing it -- was an earthquake! The shock on her face was priceless -- she looked up to the height she had been, mouth open. I was astonished, because I had not felt it, so I thought the guy was kidding. The rides were shut down for about two hours so they could be inspected (and to wait out any potential aftershocks). My husband was working in Jersey City, and the whole building shook. My older daughter was at home, and "teenage slept" through the whole thing. Certainly the most memorable day at a county fair!

Aug. 23 2011 08:36 PM
Tnguyen from College Point, NY

We just got back from Oklahoma after dropping off our son at OU. When the earthquake shook I thought I was still jetlag and tired.

Aug. 23 2011 08:30 PM
AaronM from West Orange, NJ

I was resting in bed reading when I experienced the bed moving as though my wife sat down on the bed and was moving around. She was actually in Pennsylvania visiting her aunt. I surmised it was a mild earth tremor later to find out about the earthquake in VA.

Aug. 23 2011 08:30 PM
Lee Paul C. from Glendale, Queens, N.Y.

My apartment building shook, along with windows rattling--twice--as if there were really heavy, strong, hurricane-like gusts of wind (but there weren't any--gusts of wind)....

I went outside a little while later, and neighbor a few doors down said he felt it, too.

We had an earthquake!!
....Right here in Queens, N.Y. !!!! !! !! !!!!

Kind of unbelievable.

Pretty amazing for us on the East Coast; but then again, maybe not.

Aug. 23 2011 08:25 PM
margaret from Patchogue

I was on Facebook when I read a comment from my nephew in Cairo who asked about the earthquake on the east coast. "It's all over Twitter," he said. I said, "I think they are talking about the earthquake this morning in Colorado."

Then I saw someone from New Haven---from Washington D.C., all chiming in that they had felt it.

I hadn't felt a thing because I was having a new roof put on my house, and it felt like a small earthquake all morning.

Aug. 23 2011 08:20 PM
Renee from Teaneck, N.J.

I watched the employees who work in my department seized with fear as well as superstition. I feel we're still reeling from 9/11.
People were safe, just terrified!

Aug. 23 2011 08:18 PM
Marjorie from Montclair, NJ

I was sitting at the library when my chair started shaking. First thought was, "Who's bumping into me?" But I turned around and no one was there. Then I thought, "Gee, this chair is unstable, I wonder if the legs are uneven." I only realized it was an earthquake 20 minutes later when I read an email asking, "Did you feel that?"

Aug. 23 2011 08:09 PM
DIane Daniels from NYC

I was on the 31st fl of building in lowere Manhattan. many people just left would not wait for an announcement from the service center which when it did come was ominous said we were not sure of the nature of the incident but that we should all leave. I and seven others used an elevator can you imagine? they were still running

Aug. 23 2011 07:45 PM
Jeanne from Lincoln Center

Didn't feel a thing

Aug. 23 2011 07:42 PM
Tim Young

I had no idea there was an earthquake. I'm in mid-town on W. 51st Street. However my son who lives in a high rise at 43rd and 10th said he felt his building shimmy for nine seconds. He was so precise about those nine seconds.

Aug. 23 2011 07:41 PM
Arleen from Denville, NJ

I lived in San Francisco so I knew right away it was an earthquake. I told everyone to either stand in a doorway or go outside away from the building. Other people in our office continued to work like nothing was happening. You should never poo poo Mother Nature.

Aug. 23 2011 07:36 PM
Lil P from NJ

I was in a movie theater in Red Bank NJ and thought someone was kicking my chair. It made no sense to me when I realized no one was seated behind me.

Aug. 23 2011 07:35 PM
Will Emmons from Newark, NJ

I was on the top floor (8th) of a building we're rehabbing in Newark going over the final scope of work for the structural steel that still needed to be completed. When the owner of your steel sub contracting company starts to worry, you know something is wrong. We were just happy when we found out it was an earthquake and not just the wind that was moving our building around. Then we really would have been in trouble.

Aug. 23 2011 07:31 PM
Robert from Newark

I was in Newark, and felt the floor vibrate and saw the blinds sway. I happened to be on the phone with Manhattan. When we determined we were both shaking at the same time and that there were no explosions, we concluded we were not under attack. Just an earthquake. And life went on.

Aug. 23 2011 07:18 PM
Joshua from Howard Beach

Laying in bed working on my laptop, it felt like my bed was rocking about 1inch back and forth. It felt like a ghost was shaking my bed lol

Aug. 23 2011 07:15 PM
CJ from NYC

In my apartment, while sitting in a chair, I started to sway....a nearby freestanding bookcase started to rock and attached umbrellas started to swing side to side.(about an inch or two).....I heard glasses rattle..This took place in about 40 seconds and then it all stopped gradually.

Aug. 23 2011 07:13 PM
Jess Prekel from Hackensack, NJ

Hey WNYC, bet you couldn't predict the magnitude of these comments.

Aug. 23 2011 07:11 PM
Ann Thomas Moore from NYC, Madison @ 37th St.

Sitting at my desk, at home in my third floor apartment on Madison Avenue, I didn't feel a thing. Nothing. Nada. Sorry I missed it--hadn't experienced that since I lived in L.A. a while ago.

Aug. 23 2011 07:06 PM
George Dignam from Hackensack, NJ (Bergen County)

Hello, I was on the 4th floor of the Cancer Center of Hackensack University Medical Center with my mother who is receiving chemotherapy. Her premeds cause her to take a nap. I was reading a book. When the motion started I thought "rumbling truck". After 5 seconds I realized I had never heard any vehicle go by before so this must be an earthquake. When second 20 passed the amplitude increased (more than doubled) and I was amused by my mother's groggy voice saying softly, "earthquake". After the full 45 seconds I called my sister in Midtown and she had felt it too. On my way to the hallway to make that call (I'm so considerate) the nurses at their station looked at me and I said, "It's just an earthquake, they're never too close." They resumed their work. Coming from a man I suppose. George

Aug. 23 2011 07:06 PM
Elaine from Brooklyn for this event

I was in a building on the 4th floor @ 43rd street and 1st avenue in Brooklyn. I felt the building shaking but because I was unfamiliar with the area thought that it might be due to a train passing... though it turns out there is no train in that immediate area.... Nothing was dislodged from the shelves or such... We were instructed to leave the building and go outdoors which we did.

Aug. 23 2011 07:03 PM
Linda from Long Beach, NY

I was at my desk when my husband says his computer almost went down, since he has a backup system it did not happen. I noticed my desk shaking, my chair moving and the chandelier above swaying.

I knew...mini earthquake....My husband says since we live at the water who knows?????Tsunami???(lol).....Let's get the Boogey Board...I say let's get the Boogey Board and jump into the jacuzzi...(lol)....

Anyway...I put on the TV to find the epicenter in Va. and The Pentagon evacuated.

I spoke to my friend who says is that what it was???I thought I was experiencing a dizzy spell.

Glad nothing seriously occurred.

Aug. 23 2011 07:00 PM
Eric Stenshoel from Park @ 40th

I was in my office on the 35th floor of a midtown building and felt my chair moving. My colleagues and I came out of our offices into the hallway and headed for the emergency staircase. But some of the people on the floor didn't notice the swaying even though people sitting right next to them did. There must be individual variation in sensitivity to this kind of motion.

Aug. 23 2011 06:55 PM
ateqah from fidi

i was on a conference call with a colleague from DC, who interrupted the call to announce that he felt a quake. a few seconds later, i felt as if the ground beneath me was also moving but couldn't be sure if it was just because of his comments. a minute later, i heard co-workers asking each other, "did you feel that"?

Aug. 23 2011 06:54 PM
mary beth from Rockaway, NY

I was at the beach in Rockaway...we felt it and knew it was an earthquake but
thought it was a mid-Atlantic Ocean Ridge event we were feeling!

Aug. 23 2011 06:53 PM
Matt from Jersey City, NJ

My friend and I were at the Gunnison Beach at Sandy Hook, NJ (that's the nude beach in case you were interested, lol). The ground started shaking and everyone on the beach stopped talking and looking around. it felt like it lasted 15-20 seconds. I felt like I was dizzy or something. As soon as it ended everyone started talking to each other saying, "did you feel that earthquake" and the like. People were diving into their bags to make calls, tweet, text, etc. Afterwards, everyone went back to sunbathing, but there was a little more camaraderie on the beach.

Aug. 23 2011 06:53 PM
Jenn from Upper East Side

Totally felt the earthquake while I was in lab. I work on the 13th floor, so it was pretty apparent that it was an earthquake. This is the 3rd one I have felt in my life, the first 2 were in Pasadena, CA. For some reason, I am always in lab when it happens, and the way I can tell for sure that I'm not fabricating the experience somehow is that I can see the solvent slosh back and forth in the bottles on my bench top. Glad it was a little one...again.

Aug. 23 2011 06:50 PM
Vicki Merten from Norwalk, CT

I was at lunch with a friend. We were at a shore restaurant in Norwalk Ct. We were eating out on the deck. It felt like someone had grabbed the deck and was moving it back and forth for 10 or more seconds. I thought a boat had hit the dock at the restaurant, but no...it was the earthquake.

Aug. 23 2011 06:47 PM
David from Brooklyn

To Lisa, who asked, "Are they fracking in VA?":

I've never had natural gas like this!

Aug. 23 2011 06:35 PM
Claire Schaffer

So that's what it was. I was sitting at my computer when I felt the chair shaking and saw my leg bouncing. I assumed there was some construction work going on in or near my building at 6th Avenue and 12th Street, Manhattan. Didn't think of the earthquake possibility even though when there was an earthquake in Westchester years back, that woke me up from sleep. I didn't think it was an earthquake then either.

Aug. 23 2011 06:27 PM
Rebecca Tinkham from Piscataway

I was working in my office in Piscataway when the earthquake hit. I felt the room sway and heard the windows make a noise as if under stress. It took a few seconds for me to realize what it was and I jumped out of my chair and went to my nearest co-worker and asked if he had felt the disturbance. He replied with "what disturbance". No one else had felt the quake as I had. At first they thought I was looney, but thanks to NPR, my suspicions of a quake were confirmed so HAH!

On a separate note, my son told me when I came home that my little cat sensed the earthquake about an hour before it hit. She apparently hid under a bed and cried until the quake came.

Aug. 23 2011 06:26 PM
Jester Jaimi from Downtown Brooklyn

I didn't feel the earthquake, but I was ejected from the bill payment line at Con Ed and ended up paying at a nearby check cashing service.

Aug. 23 2011 06:26 PM
Betty Pincus from Charlottesville VA

I live within an hour of the epicenter. From my computer downstairs it felt as if there were some huige machine running amuck upstairs knocking things down. The noise and pounding sensation continued for five-ten seconds. I ran up to see what could possibly be the trouble but saw nothing amiss. The noise and thudding slowly abated. I've never had an experience so strong. Luckily all is okay.

Aug. 23 2011 06:25 PM
Karen

I was in Orangeburg in Rockland County, on the 7th floor of the hospital and it shook and swayed. It was silent and initially we all thought that we were suddenly dizzy, until we realized that we could not ALL be dizzy at once!

Aug. 23 2011 06:23 PM
Mimi from Edgewater, NJ

I live in an apartment on a pier in Edgewater, NJ. My apartment shook so strongly that I thought a barge had hit the end of the pier. And a weird thing - my dog (who rarely barks) started to bark loudly about 5 seconds before I felt any shaking.

Aug. 23 2011 06:23 PM
dottie from North Bergen ,NJ

I live in North Bergen, NJ ( minutes from the Lincoln Tunnel) and did not feel the earthquake or a tremble.

Aug. 23 2011 06:20 PM
Margaret from Peekskill, NY

I was in my kitchen. First I thought my washer was on an unbalanced spin cycle. Then I remembered I wasn't doing a wash. The shaking was too long-lasting and rhythmic to be a truck going by. I said out loud, "This feels like an earthquake!"

Aug. 23 2011 06:16 PM
Ben from New City

I didn't notice it in New City, NY. In retrospect, my dog may have sensed something because around that time she was barking for no apparent reason at me.

Aug. 23 2011 06:15 PM
Morty Sklar from Jackson Heights, Queens, N.Y.C.

I had surgery 24 hours previously, and because I have atrial fibrillation and am subject to blood clot and stroke, I thought as I lay in bed and the bed started shaking, that my body was what was shaking. I guess that's good cause for being relieved that it was ONLY an earthquake, though I'm 75 and never experienced this in New York City before.

Aug. 23 2011 06:11 PM
Carole in Stuy Town - NYC from Manhattan

I was sitting at my dining table 9 floors up & my first sensation was that I may be dizzy and about to faint -- then I realized it wasn't me, but the floor and room was swaying around me. Even the crystal prisms on my wall sconces were noisily rattling. I stood under a door jam in my small hallway until it subsided. I felt frightened.

I was in this same apt during 9-11-2001 & it took me 6 hours to walk home from the Bronx during the 2003 Blackout. Somehow these completely unrelated events feel stitched together in a sense-memory kind of way -- unfamiliar frightening events where we momentarily lose our sense of control or well-being. Looking forward to an after-earthquake-cocktail!

Aug. 23 2011 06:09 PM
Mark Rehnstrom from Astoria

While rehearsing my recital this afternoon I felt the piano move behind me; I thought, "wow, Victor, my accompanist, is using a lot of force." He thought I had leaned against the piano. Then I saw the chandeliers swinging in the church in which we were rehearsing, I knew then.... it was my powerful baritone, er I mean.... it was an earthquake!

Aug. 23 2011 06:09 PM
Fiona from Midtown West, NYC

Sitting on the sofa, knitting, enjoying a quiet afternoon in my apartment on the 43rd floor...suddenly the sofa was vibrating underneath me. I remember wondering what the heck is going on thinking maybe construction in apartment below me. Then I looked across the room and saw my orchids actually shaking in the window. I found it rather interesting and cool....and am very glad it wasn't any worse. Kind of unsettling that it felt so strong on the 43rd floor!!!

Aug. 23 2011 06:09 PM
RT from West New jersey

We did not feel much at the west end of NJ. My desk only shaked less than few seconds. I did not notice, but my fellow workers in the building told me afterward that they did feel the building was swinging few seconds as well. Glad the damage in the eastern coastal area was very limited.

Aug. 23 2011 06:09 PM
e from Brooklyn, NY

I did find it a bit funny (sic) that NPR interrupted its special coverage of the events in Libya to cover the pencil-swaying earthquake felt in New York. I do understand it is important for people to know how to stay safe, and to keep everyone informed about what could have been a dangerous situation. But if I were a Libyan American living in New York I can imagine taking exception at the choice to interrupt even the special coverage channel for the discussion of people's anecdotes of the New York Earthquake.

Aug. 23 2011 06:08 PM
Karla Keffer from Brooklyn, NY

Oh, yes indeed, I felt it here in Flatbush. I was working at my computer when my chair started rocking. I realized it wasn't positional vertigo when I saw the blinds moving back and forth! Freaked out for a bit and asked the holy whatever to make it stop, then checked Facebook when it did and found out the city wasn't working on the water main or anything. Freaky and exciting!

Aug. 23 2011 06:08 PM
Jim Legnani from Midtown East, Manhattan

I was walking on East 48th Street and did NOT feel a thing!

Aug. 23 2011 06:08 PM
Anna Taylor Sweringen from Brooklyn

I didn't feel a thing in my part of Brooklyn (Kensington/Midwood by Ocean Parkway). I happened to be on the phone with someone evacuated from her building on Queens Blvd, otherwise I wouldn't have known about it.

Aug. 23 2011 06:05 PM
jerrywrite from new york

In Rockland County the quake made only a slight wave. I felt it as i was lying on my bed, reading. None of the dogs noticed (so much for dogs as early warning signals for disasters). I didn't know it was an earthquake until my wife texted me from Florida. After ten years in California, a 5.8 in VA is not all that much, I guess.

Aug. 23 2011 06:04 PM
Susan from Brooklyn

Was sitting in my 6th (top) floor apartment when my chair started to sway from side to side. My ceiling fan started to shake as did wall hangings. I turned to see the walls of my bedroom swaying. Eerily there was no sound, so I didn't think it was an earthquake. I thought my building was about to come down. I was listening to NPR at the time and noone broke in to say there was an earthquake. I turned the TV on to no news of an earthquake. I called a friend who said she was getting out of the building. I put my 2 cats in their carrying case and was about to leave when finally news of the earthquake broke. I was relieved that it was an earthquake and not some strange problem with my building.

Aug. 23 2011 06:04 PM
Lisa from Larchmont

Sick as a dog. Sleeping in a deck chair on my stone patio. Felt a rumbling in the stones, woke up, thought it felt like an earthquake. Then went back to sleep. Felt a little like being in the angelica theater when the # 6 rattles by.

Aug. 23 2011 06:04 PM
Lori M from Weehawken

I was sitting at the computer desk in our attic apartment (3rd floor) when the desk began to sway a bit. I was somewhat confused, as I could feel the whole house shaking. This has only happened in the past when there were fierce winds whipping along the Hudson River.

My husband was in the bathroom on the toilet! ha! He called to me nervously because he was in there watching the towels sway on their racks!

The baby was in his crib, napping. He did wake up, but gently - no crying! All in all a cool experience, really.

Aug. 23 2011 06:02 PM
Rachel Leinweber from Kensington, Brooklyn

just sitting quietly at my computer, emailing, and the floor started to move (really!); I stopped typing, thinking of the possible reasons, watching as papers fell off cabinets, my water cooler was shaking; I walked slowly outside to my stoop (Brooklyn), where I discovered my neighbors standing and looking...email kept working and my husband sent word that 'the building was shaking' (on 53rd and 3rd Avenue, NYC)... this was quite a day

Aug. 23 2011 06:02 PM
Ellen

I was in a restaurant In Edgewater, NJ. There was a whole lotta shakin going on and all the non-American staff ran out of the building immediately. We dumb gringos just sat and looked around. I guess it helps to have had some erathquake experience!

Aug. 23 2011 06:02 PM
bsjd from midtown east

I was on an elevator approaching the 47th floor of my midtown office. It shook like crazy, mostly horizontally. I had been in Tokyo for the March quake, and I have to admit the sensation in the elevator was nealy as strong as any of the big aftershocks there (though not the initial 9.0 of course).

Aug. 23 2011 06:01 PM
Alena Berenblatt from Babylon

We were at Overlook Beach, a Babylon Town beach off Ocean Parkway, when we felt the earth shake. It was the weirdest feeling for the beach to move!

Aug. 23 2011 05:54 PM
todd

It felt like I'd had one drink too many. Once I realized what it was, I sort of enjoyed it.

Aug. 23 2011 05:50 PM
Nanny Bloomberg from Gracie Mansion

Just continue shopping and go about your business as usual. Let the NYPD and NYFD take care of things.

If we overreact, then the earthquake has won.

Aug. 23 2011 05:36 PM
Laura from southern Westchester county

@Lisa from Forest Hills

Pretty sure they're fracking in West Virginia right by the epicenter. Coincidence?

Aug. 23 2011 05:33 PM
JC from NYC

I work in Midtown East at the UN. Felt a very subtle shake, more like a wave. Didn't think anything of it - thought my coworker at the next cubicle over had bumped her desk or something...

Aug. 23 2011 04:32 PM
Sonia Jacobson from Toronto ( visiting from TriBeCa)

I was listening to Leonard Lopate in Toronto when the coffee in my cup began to ripple and the building began to sway. This after an unusually violent thunderstorm ripped through Toronto on Sunday. Strange days indeed.

Aug. 23 2011 04:20 PM
Anonymous from Midtown, NYC

I was sitting at my desk in a midtown building on a pretty high floor. I felt the building move up and down as if it was bobbing in the ocean. The first couple of times it moved I thought I was having a dizzy spell. Then it happened several more times. I asked if anyone else felt it and all my coworkers in the immediate area said yes, except for one. We all stood up and agreed to evacuate. We were pretty scared.

Aug. 23 2011 03:54 PM
lisa from Bayonne, NJ

Gotta love Bayonne, didn't feel a thing here. The only way I knew that there had been an earthquake tremor was that a co-worker in Asbury Park sent me an instant message asking "did you feel that?

Aug. 23 2011 03:49 PM
anonyme

Does anyone know if this earthquake had anything to do with the one in Colorado?

Aug. 23 2011 03:48 PM
Ericka

ahhh the earth is alive in new york! i thought we suffocated it under luxury buildings...but it'll get us yet.

Aug. 23 2011 03:38 PM
Tribeca18 from Lower Manhattan

My dog was acting VERY STRANGE this morning - was shaking like crazy and hiding in a bathroom he's never even ever walked in to before.

Our building in Tribeca shook like crazy. Everything is fine now, and the dog is back to normal.....

Aug. 23 2011 03:37 PM
RJ from NYC

I'm on 54th and 3rd, on the 22nd floor, I didn't feel the quake at all.

Aug. 23 2011 03:33 PM
Jersey Jeff from Rahway, NJ

Heavy trucks rumble by my window every day. Construction workers are remodeling the office next to mine. I just thought that the vibration was part of a typical day at work.

Aug. 23 2011 03:31 PM
Jonathan from New York, NY

I was sitting at my desk chair. The chair wobbled a bit -- twice -- I thought it wasd me!! A muscle spasm or maybe just too much coffee!!

Aug. 23 2011 03:28 PM
Regina Joskow from Newark, NJ

I was on the 17th floor of an office building in Newark, NJ. We felt it very strongly, and went right out onto the street.

Aug. 23 2011 03:16 PM
Linda from Lower East Side

As a native San Franciscan, I just ignore a little shaking like this earthquake. My neighbors on our local message board sure got excited though.

Afterwards, I thought to worry about the local nukes.

Aug. 23 2011 03:04 PM
tessa from Lower Manhattan

My son is moving into his dorm room in California today, first day at college - have been trying not to think of the fact that he is nestled between two fault lines - called him to let him know WE were the ones having the earthquake !!!!!!

Aug. 23 2011 03:02 PM
jj from brooklyn

i was laying on my vibrating bed and missed the whole thing.....

Aug. 23 2011 03:01 PM
Heide, BPC North from Murray St

I was in my BPC apartment kitchen when I felt the quake. I saw everything around me wobble and my head started to spin instantly. I could hear the spices in the cabinet falling over. I heard a loud thump from upstairs and thought they must be having a piano (or something heavy) brought in but then the shaking went on a second too long. I ran to the window to make sure the Freedom Tower was still there. I previously felt this type of tremor while taking refuge in the basement when the Towers came down. I then grabbed my camera and my "go bag" and waited another few seconds for a second wave. I knew it was an earthquake by that point. It sort of felt like being in a malfunctioning elevator when it suddenly stops and bounces a bit on the way down to the ground floor. It certainly got my adrenaline running. I'm relieved that it was *only* an earthquake.

Aug. 23 2011 02:59 PM
Iphie

Y'all realize that that's Brian and not Leonard reporting on this, right?

Aug. 23 2011 02:58 PM
mike from manhattan

brian, i think you should start broadcasting from belevue and spend the next month continuing to blab about this non-story.

i would like to hear from 20,000,000 more people telling us that they felt a tremor.

only then will i feel satiated.

Aug. 23 2011 02:57 PM
S

There's nothing more calming than having Brian take over the air waves at moments like this.

Aug. 23 2011 02:57 PM
Andrea Harris-Cohen from Midtown Manhattan

I am sitting in my chair staring at my computer after lunch and I feel rumbling. "Hmmm...is the wind that strong? was there an explosion on a lower floor?" I think to myself. Never in my wildest dreams, as a proudly non-Left Coast denizen, did I think that we would get reverb here!

Aug. 23 2011 02:56 PM
bib from manhattan

felt it, it was awful, 5th floor of 7 floor building in soho. left california because of earthquakes, really hope this is a fluke.

Aug. 23 2011 02:54 PM
Maryann Loiacono

I'm at work in Poughkeepsie and my chair started rocking and my plants were swaying. I thought it was a construction issue.

Aug. 23 2011 02:54 PM
michael from manhattan

i can't call in, but if i could i think i'd give you the most insightful comment yet, and that is - that this story is so overblown and rediculous. can we get back to regular programming? this is pathetic guys.

of everyone who has called or emailed, is there a report of one single injury? NO.

please, enough. you're acting like a bore.

Aug. 23 2011 02:54 PM
Sam from astoria

I was sitting in bed reading about the 2004 earthquake/tsunami when the bed started to shake. Crazy! I'm staying off wikipedia disaster pages from now on...I think I'll go read about the 1986 Mets instead....

Aug. 23 2011 02:53 PM
Woody from Brooklyn

The earthquake made my stomach a bit queasy, but nothing compared to listening to Soundcheck!

Thanks Brian Lehrer for the always great radio!

Aug. 23 2011 02:52 PM
tasha asay from Neptune City, NJ

Felt it here in Neptune City, NJ. Was resting with the newborn and wondered what my husband was doing to shake the whole house and yet make no noise. Wait is this a little earthquake? Yep. My husband and daughter in the yard didn't feel it though!

Aug. 23 2011 02:51 PM
KatMcD from Washington, DC

This coverage is, frankly, embarrassing. WHY, Brian Lehrer, would you tell people in need of help to call NPR?! If I hear one more person call in only to say that they felt a slight tremor, I'm changing the station to Fox News Radio.

Aug. 23 2011 02:49 PM
Lesley from New Hyde Park, NY

My office building in New Hyde Park is built on stilts so when it began to shake, many people in other suites evacuated. But since we can't take the rest of the day off, it was an interesting diversion but no more. (Luckily!)

Aug. 23 2011 02:46 PM
nora York from lower east side Manhattan

oh my goodness!! I thought I was getting dizzy... I went into the other room to lie down... I am on the 16th floor in my apartment... crazy stuff

Aug. 23 2011 02:45 PM
Lisa from Forest Hills

Are they fracking in VA?

Aug. 23 2011 02:45 PM
Jeffrey Hicken from Flagtown, NJ

Really? A 5.9 earthquake and you interrupt the Disney Music show? You east coasters crack me up. Born and bred in Southern California I wouldn't even get out of bed for anything lower than a 7.0

Aug. 23 2011 02:43 PM
Zoran from Maywood NJ

...felt it...made me feel a bit nauseous... but not any more so than listening to wall-to wall Libya...
... I'm sure most of us have returned back to work...but seriously, my first thought was of Indian Point...

Aug. 23 2011 02:42 PM
Sheepshed bay from Sheepshead bay

Didn't feel a thing in Sheepshead bay.

Aug. 23 2011 02:41 PM
Matthew from Astoria

Thanks for getting Brian live on the radio to cover the story! His excellence as an live-on-air-journalist and a steady voice for our community is appreciated during an unsettling moment! Even if it was small by California standards.

Aug. 23 2011 02:41 PM
kdan from Washington Heights

I thought the upstairs neighbor was moving something heavy, but I soon realized it was bigger than that. When Leonard mentioned it I knew it was an earthquake. I live near the Dyckman Fault, but the epicenter was in Virginia.

Aug. 23 2011 02:40 PM
karen escalona from Morris Twp, NJ

Earthquake felt on our mountaintop here in Morris County. We are former residents of Mexico City where temblors are a daily occurrence. This was more growling stomach than upheaval.

Aug. 23 2011 02:39 PM
Tony Meola

My partner, who's office is in Margaretville, NY in the Catskills felt it. Pictures moving on the walls!

Aug. 23 2011 02:38 PM

Earthquake reach us in Poughkeepsie. Lasted for at least a full minute

Aug. 23 2011 02:38 PM
Sonne Hernandez from LES

I felt it first and thought it was the egg company downstairs doing something.....it wasn't til i heard my own walls making a crumbling sound did i realize something was happening and ran out of apt. I'm on Lulow and Canal

Aug. 23 2011 02:37 PM
Dottie Jeffries from Roosevelt Island

Felt my Roosevelt Island apartment building sway! I thought I was hallucinating....

Aug. 23 2011 02:36 PM
Steve in Aurora from Aurora, Ontario

Sitting here swaying to the rhythm of the quake in Aurora, Ontario. A tad nrth ot Toronto.

Actually took about 20 min's to reach us up here.

No harm done. Just a diversion from the routine.

Rgds to all you hardy NY'rs

Aug. 23 2011 02:36 PM
Allan from Highland Park, NJ

I believe there was an earlier 3.7 earthquake this morning near D.C., maybe the same fault.

I felt this more recent one, saw my TV move.
Cell service here is iffy; maybe a load problem.

Aug. 23 2011 02:35 PM
Mechelle from Brooklyn

is it safe to take the subway?

Aug. 23 2011 02:35 PM
barent

to the "genius" who called in, with a feel good attitude re the earthquake,let's hope, indian point does not blow in the future, with a similar incident. that would most certainly not be fun.

Aug. 23 2011 02:33 PM
sheila white from Southampton

Felt it in the Hamptons!

Aug. 23 2011 02:33 PM
scotty Watson from Secaucus, NJ

I have friends in Toronto who said they felt it.

Aug. 23 2011 02:32 PM
Dano from Kearny, NJ

Have a son in the Baltimore Police Academy on the outskirts of the city (across from Pimlico Racetrack) and he said it felt like the building was going to collapse. Distance would be about 150 miles away from him.

Additionally, FOX reports: "The quake happened at 5:04 a.m. and was centered in the Rockville, Md., area, said Randy Baldwin, a geophysicist with U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center. "

Aug. 23 2011 02:31 PM
Marian from Tarrytown, NY

Sitting outdoors on the shores of the Hudson in Tarrytown, NY, we felt the tremor and thought it was a dock rocking until we realized we were on solid ground. We jokingly speculated that it was an earthquake. Only now do I know it was.

Aug. 23 2011 02:31 PM
Elke from Elmhurst NY

There is a nuclear power plant very near the epicenter in Mineral VA. It's called the North Anna.

Aug. 23 2011 02:31 PM
Theresa from Kensington, Brooklyn

Felt NOTHING! I feel so left out and disappointed!

Aug. 23 2011 02:29 PM
anne from brooklyn ny

Is there any fracking going on near the epicenter?

Aug. 23 2011 02:27 PM
Maria from Manhattan

This was NY magazine's take (back in December 1995) on what damage a big earthquake would do to NYC:

http://books.google.com/books?id=ie6sxGPqDFoC&lpg=PP1&dq=december%2011%2C%201995&pg=PA39#v=onepage&q=december%2011,%201995&f=false

Aug. 23 2011 02:27 PM
Connie from midtown

I felt a very subtle rolling, and immediately thought 'Earthquake?! Naw....' There was an earthquake on the east coast back in 1970 or 1971--I was living in Philadelphia then and felt that one. Similar sensation.

Aug. 23 2011 02:27 PM
anne from brooklyn ny

Is there any fracking going on near the epicenter?

Aug. 23 2011 02:26 PM
Grace Goodman from West 77th Street, Manhattan

I felt a short sharp double shake about 1:55 pm; went outside to see if the construction work on the next building was somehow hitting our brownstone but it wasn't. Then felt another double shake. That's all, but I did wonder if it could be an earthquake!

Aug. 23 2011 02:26 PM
Terri from Prospect-Lefferts Garden

Cell phone service is fine.

I live next to the 2/5 line on Nostrand, so am used to some shaking in my building, but this went on too long.

The nice (!) thing about this quake is that it was immediately confirmed on the radio. The last one I felt, while living in Montreal (it was centered near Plattsburgh), happened in the morning, and it took some hours before the news confirmed it was a quake.

Aug. 23 2011 02:26 PM
Mark

Up in Inwood. Felt two separate moments of shaking. I knew it was an earthquake. Got dressed and got out.

Aug. 23 2011 02:26 PM

Thanks to Lenny for mentioning the quake - I know I felt something but wasn't sure until I heard him mention it a few minutes later on the air.

Aug. 23 2011 02:25 PM
McDave from the Bronx

Felt it here in Kingsbridge. Heard book case rattling, held it in case it wanted to tip over. It shook for a good 20 seconds. Figured it was the neighbor upstairs working out a little to zealously. People in my building were running out and the commotion led me to believe it was indeed a tremor. Whod've thunk it in NYC?

Aug. 23 2011 02:25 PM
James from Brooklyn

Felt in Downtown Bk. My family in Richmond VA said it was pretty strong and longer than what we felt (at least 30-45 sec).

Aug. 23 2011 02:25 PM
Jeannine from New Haven, CT

Felt in New Haven, CT. The city was on the streets! Friend in Rhode Island felt it as well along with friends in New Hampshire. Our whole building was swaying!

Aug. 23 2011 02:25 PM
Jeanne from Bolivia, NC

Bolivia, NC
We moved her from San Francisco 2 years ago and are freaked out as we prepare for Hurricane Irene. And then my desk lamp, monitor, blinds, etc start rockin' and rollin'. I thought I was crazy. Was it CA envy as we lie in the path of the hurricane?
Unbelievable!

Aug. 23 2011 02:25 PM
Terri from Prospect-Lefferts Garden

Cell phone service is fine.

I live next to the 2/5 line on Nostrand, so am used to some shaking in my building, but this went on too long.

The nice (!) thing about this quake is that it was immediately confirmed on the radio. The last one I felt, while living in Montreal (it was centered near Plattsburgh), happened in the morning, and it took some hours before the news confirmed it was a quake.

Aug. 23 2011 02:25 PM
Nick from Brooklyn

How likely is it that there will be aftershocks that we'd feel in NYC?

Aug. 23 2011 02:25 PM
Judith from Park Slope, Brooklyn

was in Windsor Terrace reaching for a pair of shoes in a shop and thought i was just sick...having a dizzy spell...then everyone in all the stores went out on the street...sure enough we were not dizzy but in the midst of the earth shaking!
MY CELL STAYED WORKING!! Thanks to Sprint who most people don't trust BUT I DO!!

Aug. 23 2011 02:24 PM
NYer

Could you please announce whether there is a chance of there being more quakes/aftershocks in the NYC area?

I'm on the UWS, 4th floor of brownstone, and felt the whole apartment shake. Scary.

Thank you.

Aug. 23 2011 02:24 PM
Leslie from Upper West Side

Talked to family in outside of Pittsburgh and they felt it too.

Aug. 23 2011 02:24 PM
Jeanne from Bolivia, NC

Bolivia, NC
We moved her from San Francisco 2 years ago and are freaked out as we prepare for Hurricane Irene. And then my desk lamp, monitor, blinds, etc start rockin' and rollin'. I thought I was crazy. Was it CA envy as we lie in the path of the hurricane?
Unbelievable!

Aug. 23 2011 02:24 PM
Chase from Manhattan

AT&T cell phones up in the village-no problem with calls or texts.

Aug. 23 2011 02:23 PM
Art from Manhattan

11th floor on Madison between 39th & 40th. Felt two separate shakes. Felt like the subway was going under the building.

Cell works, phone works, and (obviously) internet works.

On the phone with colleague in LA, who said he didn't think we ever got earthquakes, and expressed concern that our buildings weren't retrofitted.

Which I was not concerned about -- until now.

Aug. 23 2011 02:23 PM
Sarah from Prospect Heights

I'm a CA native and have been in some big earthquakes but I actually thought I was dizzy because I was stripping paint at the time! Then I glanced at Facebook and saw that it wasn't just me. 5.9 is a noticeable earthquake but we in NYC are probably too far from the epicenter to worry about much damage. And to think some people have said they won't move to CA because of the earthquakes :)

Aug. 23 2011 02:23 PM
Amanda Glickenhaus from Battery Park City, NYC

I'm in Battery Park City (tip of Manhattan) - 27th floor. Totally felt the tremors, but looked outside & it seemed like life as usual on the streets/sidewalks!

Aug. 23 2011 02:23 PM
Gretchen from Delmar, NY

I felt it in upstate New York, just south of Albany! I'm from the SF Bay Area, so I knew what it was, although like Brian, at first I thought I was having a dizzy spell.

Aug. 23 2011 02:22 PM
Conlee from Soho

I'm right over, west, from you. My cell doesn't work, but my internet wireless is fine.

This was my first earthquake experience and hope it is the last. I'm kinda shook.

was sitting at my computer and hear suddenly a rattling of the window with the locked gate because it is on the fire escape. My internal processor goes, "Rain? Sun is shining, but not impossible." The floor and chair start rocking. Internal processor goes, "Earthquake. They've finally screwed up the ground here enough putting all these skyscrapers in our neighborhood that doesn't have rock that we can feel earthquakes." At the moment Lenny Lopate who is interviewing someone from California on his WNYC sgiw says, "I believe we've just experienced an earthquake judging by the shaking of my chair." Confirmed immediately. It was centered in Virigina, tremors up through D.C. and NYC. Between hurricane and earthquake.

Previously this month it was between fire and flood -- a building burned a few doors down, our building's basement flooded during that record rain the following weekend. The relentless tenth anniversary of 9/11 drumbeat pounding. No wonder my nerves are what they are.

Aug. 23 2011 02:21 PM
Iphie from Hamilton Heights

Definitely felt it in Upper Manhattan -- I thought I was hallucinating or having a seizure or something. Was actually contemplating calling the doctor because I not only felt it but saw things shaking, which I was sure couldn't really be happening.

Aug. 23 2011 02:21 PM
The Truth from Becky

Wow!!

Aug. 23 2011 02:21 PM
rachel from red hook

everything shook in my building! I was shaking long after it stopped! no cell phone and couldn't get through to 911.

Aug. 23 2011 02:20 PM
Lilianna H. from Manhattan

42nd and 2nd...11th floor. Felt it...definitely...all phones (cell and land lines) working.

Aug. 23 2011 02:19 PM
Mubtasim from NY

Rocked back and forth few times in ny, pretty cool for me-first time ever in a earthquake

Aug. 23 2011 02:19 PM
Heather from Flatbush

Flatbush (Brooklyn) definitely felt it! Kind of freaky....

Aug. 23 2011 02:19 PM
Mary from Sunnyside NY

The roof of my building is being worked on: I thought it was the construction moving the building.

Aug. 23 2011 02:18 PM
Jen from Chelsea

On the 17th floor of the Masonic Hall on 23rd & 6th and the whole building swayed back and forth. Pretty scary stuff.

Aug. 23 2011 02:18 PM
Michelle from Brooklyn

Felt it here in Ditmas Park.
No cell phone service!

Aug. 23 2011 02:17 PM
Cait from Brooklyn, NY

Definitely felt it here in Crown Heights, Brooklyn - even as a CA native, I'll admit it got my attention.

Aug. 23 2011 02:13 PM
bob eddy from 05060 Randolph, VT

It shook the lights here on the second floor of our news room in Randolph, Vermont. (The Herald of Randolph)

Aug. 23 2011 02:11 PM
Nancy Tuck from Kismet Fire Island New York

I'm on Fire Island (Kismet Community) and I felt the quake. Was wondering why the house shook for a moment!

Aug. 23 2011 02:08 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.

Sponsored

Latest Newscast

 

 

Support

WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public

Feeds

Supported by