Utility Says NYC Quake May Have Caused Explosions

No injuries reported in rare quake
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 2, 2024 2:55 PM CST
No Injuries Reported in Rare NYC Quake
A No. 7 subway train rides the rails in the Queens borough of New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

A 1.7 magnitude earthquake that hit New York City early Tuesday may have caused a series of small explosions on an island between Manhattan and Queens, officials said. The US Geological Survey reported that the quake occurred at 5:45am near the Astoria section of Queens. There were no reports of injuries or structural damage and no impacts to transit, traffic, or utility services, New York City Office of Emergency Management spokesperson Aries Dela Cruz said.

Some residents of Manhattan and Queens reported what sounded like small explosions shortly before 6am coming from Roosevelt Island, a 2-mile-long strip of land in the East River between the two boroughs. "It was like an explosion, sounded like a bomb went off. The building shook, it woke us up," a resident tells ABC7. Allan Drury, a spokesperson for Consolidated Edison, said officials at the utility suspect that the quake caused the explosions, since they happened around the same time, the AP reports. Drury said there were no power outages.

The New York City earthquake happened a few hours after a 2.3 magnitude quake was reported in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. No injuries or damage were reported following the earlier quake either. (More New York City stories.)

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