The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

4.8 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes LHS and Across Northeast

Earthquake Strikes During 4th Period; Leaving Students and Staff Excited and Confused

Approximately 10:23 AM, on Friday, April 5th 2024, a 4.8 Magnitude earthquake struck Lebanon, New Jersey, and was felt all throughout the Northeast, including Ludlow High School.

First Hand Accounts Across LHS

It was the middle of 4th period in my Physics class with Mr. Walsh; I was doing a worksheet and dozing off when suddenly the ground beneath my feet began to shake. The entire building felt as if it was swaying or collapsing for what seemed like a minute

Everyone in my class was confused, questioning if our senses were correct or not, and whether or not we just experienced an earthquake. Then shortly after, Mrs. Nemeth made an announcement over the intercom stating that we all indeed had experienced an earthquake, the vast majority of us for the first time. 

My sister, junior, Ashlyn Moquin, said she thought she was passing out, but once she noticed that everyone was giving each other glances around the room she knew it was an earthquake. She thought it was fun, and asked me if I thought more tremors would occur. 

I had never experienced an earthquake prior to this event, but I can certainly say I was as equally excited that it had happened more than anything. It certainly brought some excitement to my otherwise Friday.

What my sister and I experienced was seemingly universal throughout the halls of LHS; I talked to senior Olivia Leclaire; who happened to be in Physics class with Mr. Gavrilov, where Mrs. Nemeth also was at the time. She stated “We thought someone was on the roof, and Mrs. Nemeth looked just as confused as we did”.

Mr. Rea had a different experience, while going over the answers to a multiple choice practice with his Period 4 AP Literature class; he said he noticed that his students were confused and said they felt the building shaking. Mr. Rea, who was standing at the time, did not notice tremors until a student pointed out to him that both the Smartboard and flagpole were moving. 

What Happened? 

The epicenter is situated around the towns of Whitehouse Station, Lebanon, and Califon, New Jersey; and lies between Allentown, Philadelphia, and New York City. 

This epicenter runs along one of the most active fault lines on the eastern seaboard, the Ramapo Fault, which is caused by the Appalachian Mountains and runs through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

The magnitude was recorded as 4.8 and the depth was recorded at around 2.9 miles, making this earthquake very shallow, yet pretty typical for an earthquake of this region.

The fact that the earthquake was so shallow is  the reason why the shaking was felt so widespread; being felt from Virginia to Maine.

The earthquake prompted brief evacuations of some buildings, and air traffic delays across the Mid-Atlantic states of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

Fortunately no major damage or injuries have been reported at the time of publication. 

Public Response

Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, publicly stated that this is “one of the largest earthquakes on the East Coast to occur in the last century” and advised residents to be prepared for aftershocks.

An aftershock as defined by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), are:

“smaller earthquakes that occur in the same general area during the days to years following a larger event or “mainshock””. 

The USGS estimates that this particular earthquake has a 78% probability of producing at least one magnitude 3+ aftershock in the next week, and a 16% of producing a magnitude 4+ one. 

The USGS also estimates that nearby seismic activity could last approximately 3 weeks in total.

In fact several other earthquakes have already occurred, just hours after the “mainshock”:

  • 3.8 magnitude earthquake 7 kilometers southwest of Gladstone, NJ
  • 1.9 Magnitude earthquake 3 kilometers southwest of Bedminster, NJ
  • 2.0 magnitude earthquake 6 kilometers northeast of Whitehouse Station, NJ
  • 1.8 magnitude earthquake 4 kilometers southeast of Califon, NJ
  • 2.0 magnitude earthquake 6 kilometers southeast of Long Valley, NJ
  • 1.8 magnitude earthquake 1 kilometers west of Chester, NJ
  • 2.0 magnitude earthquake 4 kilometers northeast of Chester, NJ  
  • 2.2 magnitude earthquake 4 kilometers northeast of Whitehouse Station NJ


What to Do During an Earthquake 

Although it is unlikely any of these aftershocks will be felt in Ludlow from this event, and earthquakes are extraordinarily rare on the East Coast, it is still helpful to know what to do in the exceedingly rare event of a significant earthquake. 

According to USGS, if you are inside in the event of an earthquake, follow these steps: 

  • Get under a desk or a table and hang on.
  • Moving yourself into a hallway or inside a wall is also an alternative.
  • Keep away from windows, fireplaces, heaving appliances and furniture. 
  • The most dangerous room to be in is the kitchen. 
  • Finally, do not run upstairs or outside while shaking is occuring, as falling debris could strike you. 

If you are outdoors in the event of an earthquake:

  • Get into an open space far from any buildings, power lines, chimneys, and any other object that can topple over. 

Closing Thoughts

The experience from this earthquake was mostly exciting to me, however, it was also very eye-opening, as no matter how exceedingly rare an event like an earthquake is to occur in the Northeast, it is always possible. It is best to be safe than sorry, and always be smart of your surroundings, and the way you handle yourself in these situations, as you can never guarantee they will not happen. 

Citations and Resources

NYTimes – Live Updates on Earthquake

USGS – 4.8 Magnitude NJ Earthquake Information and Data 

USGS – Information on What to Do in The Event of an Earthquake

USGS – Real Time Earthquake Tracker

USGS – Aftershock Information

NBC News- Earthquake Updates

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Jacob Moquin
Jacob Moquin, Opinion Editor
Jacob Moquin is a part of the Class of 2024 at Ludlow High School. This is his first year as a writer for the Cub. He is also a part of Leading Lions and LHS cares, and was the former Vice President of the French Club. Outside of school and sleeping he enjoys partaking in painting and looking through his telescope on a clear night. After graduating, Jacob plans on pursuing a doctorate in veterinary medicine and aspires to have a practice of his own. However for the time being he plans on sharing his many opinions for readers to enjoy.

Comments (0)

All The Cub Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *