Earthquake strikes New Jersey, shaking reported across state

A photograph taken by a drone shows the neighborhood above the earthquake epicenter at Poets Corner and Kozloski Road in Freehold Township, N.J., on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. A magnitude 3.1 earthquake struck the area early Wednesday morning. The U.S. Geological Survey says it hit at about 2 a.m. and was centered 3 miles deep. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

NEW YORK (AP) — A magnitude 3.1 earthquake struck in East Freehold, New Jersey, early Wednesday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Residents took to social media to express their shock at the rare occurrence. Hundreds of people as far away as Philadelphia and Long Island, New York, contributed to the USGS’ “Did You Feel It?” map, reporting only weak or light shaking and no damage.

“It would be very surprising for us to see anything more than you know, damaged shelves or picture frames falling off of windows,” said Robert Sanders, a geophysicist with the survey.

The USGS said the earthquake happened about 2 a.m. and was centered 1.25 miles (2 kilometers) south, southeast of the center of East Freehold, about 3 miles deep.

“That’s a fairly uncommon event magnitude for quakes in this area,” Sanders said. Since 1970, there have been two other quakes within 10 miles of this location, a 3.5 in 1979 and a 3.1 in 1992, he said.