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Rumbles From Weak East Coast Quakes Travel Far

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TWC News: Rumbles From Weak East Coast Quakes Travel Far
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Many New Yorkers felt rumbles from Tuesday's earthquake, even though the epicenter was hundreds of miles away in Virginia. NY1's Meteorologist John Davitt filed the following report.

The reason the shaking from Tuesday's earthquake stretched so far is because of the geology of the northeastern United States and New York City. The northeast sits mainly on bedrock, solid, rocky earth that allows seismic waves from earthquakes to travel long distances.

In areas like the west coast, where the earth is more sandy, the seismic waves do not travel as far.

Unlike the west coast, the eastern United States does not have major fault lines. Earthquakes in the northeast are not rare but they are usually very weak.

On Tuesday, there were two earthquakes in the region. The first was near Syracuse, N.Y. around 6:30 a.m., but it had a weak magnitude of 2.2. The other quake was the magnitude 5.8 trembler centered in Mineral, Va., located southwest of Washington, D.C. and northwest of Richmond, Va.

The depth of the earthquake was 3.7 miles below the earth's surface. The deeper the quake, the more potential there is for damage.

The last earthquake centered in New York City was in 1884. Through the years, there have been moderate earthquakes throughout the state.

In June 2010, people in the city reported feeling shaking from an earthquake centered in southern Ontario, Canada.

In case New York gets another quake, people who are indoors should get under a desk or dining room table, while those who are outdoors should try and find an open space.

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