East coast earthquake: Don’t be surprised by earthquake, say experts

Suzanne Beatty comforts her son Quentin Beatty, 7, on a street in TriBeCa

Many were surprised to learn that an earthquake that occurred in Virginia could be felt as far north as Toronto and as far south as North Carolina.
 
But we shouldn’t be, said seismology experts interviewed by Metro.
 
“Earthquakes in the Eastern part of the U.S. are felt over larger areas of size than their counterparts elsewhere in the country,” said Larry Brown, a Cornell University seismology professor.
 
That’s because here on the East Coast, the Earth’s crust is older and more solidified than out West, making it easier for earthquake waves to travel great distances. On the West Coast, the crust has been busted up by quakes and tremors so often that fault lines are common. Every fault line breaks up an earthquake wave, and stops its travel, said Brown.
 
“It would not surprise me if this earthquake was felt as far north as Canada, and reports have it as far west as Detroit,” he said.
 
“It’s time not be surprised,” agreed Jerry Hajjar, chair of the department engineering at Northeastern University, who studies earthquakes as a structural engineer. “There are potential fault zones and down the East Coast, and we don’t know them all because we’ve only been recording them for about 100 years.”
 
There are two regions on the East Coast that have the highest potential for “reasonably large” earthquakes, said Hajjar: Charleston, South Carolina and Quebec. Everything else in between is fair game for tremors and shocks, he said.
 
Other than South Carolina and Quebec, New York City and Virginia are two pockets that also stand out for elevated seismic activity, said Hajjar. Yesterday’s quake occurred in Mineral, Virginia.
 
“I think it’s important that people on the East Coast recognize that earthquakes are possible,” he said. “There’s still much more room for improvement to design buildings to withstand this potential hazard.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.