Did You Feel the Earthquake This Morning?

April 5, 2024

“Did you feel the earthquake this morning?” That may be the most asked question in the Northeast today. That query pushed aside some other popular questions in New England – “How much snow did you get?” or “Are you flooded?” or “Which, if any, of the quarterbacks options are the Patriots going to draft?”

Just shy of 10:30 a.m., I was sitting at my desk answering emails and editing stories for today’s Bedford Citizen when my computer monitor took on a life of its own and started shaking, along with just about everything else on my desk. I turned around and saw a lot of other things moving and swaying, as well. Then it all stopped. The rumbling, shaking, and swaying felt like it went on for about a minute, but in reality, it was more like 30 seconds.

Having felt the shaking followed by a rolling motion (kind of like being out at sea) while visiting California a few years ago (a big deal for New England-bred me, but nothing for long-time residents there), I had a strong feeling that what I just experienced in Bedford this morning was an earthquake. 

I called our reporter, Mike Rosenberg, to ask him if he felt the shaking. Nope. He said he would check with the police later to see if they got any calls. In the meantime, I called Dot Bergin, another member of our staff who lives in Vermont, to see if it reached her neighborhood. Again, a negative response. 

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As I was speaking with Dot, I checked the web to see if there were, indeed, any reports of an earthquake. One of the websites that lists earthquakes posted a report of one measuring 3.8 in Vermont around the same time I felt the one here.

I called fellow staff member Jenny Stewart. Although she hadn’t felt anything, her daughter had called to say she felt an earthquake in New York. 

Then reports starting showing up on news websites of an earthquake registering 4.8 centered in New Jersey and being felt in New York City and other parts of the state. It’s the most powerful earthquake to hit the area in more than a century. 

I also called a friend on the South Shore – she had mentioned last week that while she was in a Zoom program on Thursday, she felt her bed shake, then heard the facilitator who was in southern California say she felt the rumblings of an earthquake during the meditation. She said that she didn’t feel anything today; however, she was in another Zoom program and some of the people from NY, NJ, and PA said that they had just felt an earthquake registering 4.8. 

It turns out that people from not only New Jersey and New York felt it, but the quake reached as far north as Maine and Montreal and as far south as Virginia. The quake was on the Ramapo fault that runs through the Appalachians, New Jersey, and downstate New York.  

Mike later said the police didn’t receive calls about it in Bedford. Maybe I’m the only one in Bedford to actually experience it. If you didn’t experience this morning’s earthquake, you may get to feel the expected aftershocks. 

On the other hand, it might be better to focus on watching the few inches of wet, cement snow that fell yesterday in Bedford melt away so we can have drier, snow-free ground in time for Monday’s big event – the eclipse.  

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Wayne Braverman is the Managing Editor of The Bedford Citizen. He can be reached at [email protected], or 781-430-8837.

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