Cops, Courts and Fire

Hunterdon County Earthquake Causes Some Damage

The earthquake rocked the New Hope-Lambertville area.

A view of Bridge Street in Lambertville this week.
Credit: Tom Sofield/

An earthquake that rocked the area and beyond Friday morning was centered in Hunterdon County.

The 4.8 magnitude earthquake was below Whitehouse Station in Readington Township and Lebanon, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The location is about 19 miles from the City of Lambertville.

Credit: USGS

The tremor started at 10:23 a.m. and lasted for a short time. It was felt from Boston to Maryland.

Despite the widespread tremors, there have been no reports of serious damage or injuries in the area.

However, some minor damage was being reported to officials in Hunterdon County.

“There have been some reports of structural issues on private properties,” officials said in a statement.

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Hunterdon County officials asked residents with damage to report it on their website.

Residents experienced glasses rattling, picture frames falling, and pets acting confused, alongside a low-humming noise that accompanied the shaking.

Following the initial earthquake, several smaller aftershocks were reported. At 6 p.m. a 4 magnitude aftershock was felt by man in the region. The U.S. Geological Survey cautioned more aftershocks are possible.

Hunterdon County officials said they activated their emergency operations center, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said the state operated its emergency operations center to coordinate the response to the earthquake.

“I am grateful for the quick response by our local first responders, Office of Emergency Management, and county staff that have been involved in the ongoing response to the reported earthquake. Thankfully, at this time, there have been no reported injuries or major damage sustained by residents, businesses, and local governments. We will continue to stay in regular contact municipal officials until all inspections and reporting is finished,” Hunterdon County Commissioners Director Jeff Kuhl said.

Hunterdon County officials said their 9-1-1 center was met with “significant call” volume following the morning earthquake.

A White House spokesperson said President Joe Biden had been briefed on the earthquake and federal and local governments were in communication. The president later told reporters the situation appeared to be “under control.”

“There have been no current reports of damages or injuries relating to this quake within our borders. Please report any damages to your local, municipal emergency management office,” Bucks County Emergency Management officials said.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency had been in touch with local governments, according to Gov. Josh Shapiro.

The New Hope-Lambertville Toll Bridge plaza.
Credit: Google Maps

Bridges managed by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission and rail tracks operated by Amtrak, SEPTA, and New Jersey Transit were checked with no damage reported. Utility companies also conducted inspections on equipment.

Bucks County and municipal officials said there were a number of 9-1-1 calls from concerned residents in the minutes after the quake.

The Upper Makefield Township Police Department thanked 9-1-1 staffers and said: “Between 10:24 a.m. and 10:49 a.m., 25 dispatchers handled 238 calls from across Bucks County related to the earthquake. That stat does not include the other 911 calls they received.”

The unusual seismic event took many by surprise, with residents sharing their experiences.

A reader who was running errands in the City of Lambertville, which sits about 19 miles from the epicenter, said she became unsteady as she walked on a pathway and stopped. Being a former West Coast resident, she realized an earthquake was hitting.

“I was working and I heard this loud low rumble noise from outside and I’m thinking that it’s nothing more than an airplane passing by, but it grew intense, like severely intense to the point where my home was shaking, and I’m in a two-story building on the second floor,” said KC Carter, who was in Middletown Township’s Levittown section. “Getting a giant shake like this is very scary indeed.”

“Whole house shook in Wrightstown PA. Lasted a few seconds,” Carolyn Gaudioso Crawford wrote on‘s Facebook page.

“Whole house shook, knocked a picture frame over and a closet door shook open!,” Todd Zuber wrote on the Facebook page.

Experts from the U.S. Geological Survey explained the earthquake resulted from shallow crust faulting, a rare but not unheard-of phenomenon in the intraplate setting of the eastern U.S. The quake is noted as the largest within 155 miles of Friday’s earthquake since 1950.

The last notable earthquake in the region was in 2021. However, in August 2011, a 5.8 magnitude tremor shook much of the East Coast and was centered in rural Virginia.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.

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