Could a major earthquake shake the Big Apple to its core?
If the past is any indication, the answer is yes, says John Armbruster, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
Based on historical precedent, Armbruster says the New York City metro area is susceptible to an earthquake of at least a magnitude of 5.0 once a century.
Lynn Skyes, lead author of a recent study by seismologists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory adds that a magnitude-6 quake hits the area about every 670 years, and magnitude-7 every 3,400 years.
A 5.2-magnitude quake shook New York City in 1737 and another of the same severity hit in 1884. Tremors were felt from Maine to Virginia.
There are several fault lines in the metro area, including one along Manhattan’s 125th St. – which may have generated two small tremors in 1981 and may have been the source of the major 1737 earthquake, says Armbruster. There’s another fault line on Dyckman St. and one in Dobbs Ferry in nearby Westchester County.
“The problem here comes from many subtle faults,” explained Skyes after the study was published. “We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought.”
“While uncommon, the earthquake hazard of the New York City metropolitan area has been assessed as moderate,” the New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation writes on its website. “Considering population density and the condition of the region’s infrastructure and building stock, it is clear that even a moderate earthquake would have considerable consequences in terms of public safety and economic impact.”
Armbruster says a 5.0-magnitude earthquake today likely would result in casualties and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. “I would expect some people to be killed,” he notes. “Enough chimneys, facades on buildings would fall and someone would be underneath.”
The scope and scale of damage would multiply exponentially with each additional tick on the Richter scale.
“Will there be one in my lifetime or your lifetime? I don’t know. But this is the longest period we’ve gone without one.”
- A tale of two metros: how the London tube beat the New York subway
- The Controversial Crime-Fighting Program That Changed Big-City Policing Forever
- 'I told cops I appreciated the fact that I wasn't treated like Roger Stone': How Michael Avenatti was discreetly arrested at New York's Hudson Yards mall, used his one phone call to contact his mother and admits 'I flew too close to the sun'
- ’s ‘Focus Group’ Sketch: An Oral History
- An Oral History of ‘David Pumpkins’
- Story of cities #31: Skopje plans for the future by fixating on its ancient past
- What would an entirely flood-proof city look like?
- Dazzling moment an electrical fault caused a huge 'plasma arc' that turned the New York skyline an intense blue - grounding planes, shutting out power and causing city-wide confusion
- The real-life mission impossible that inspired Sam Mendes' new movie 1917: How his daring grandfather volunteered to take vital messages across No Man's Land... and regaled the director with the tales when he was a boy
- Real Housewives Of New York City: Sonja Morgan bawls after Dorinda Medley touches family letters
- Origins of ‘Oaktown’: James Copes says it started on a T-shirt
- Amy Schumer calls the Kardashians 'good, kind girls' and says she loves the reality TV family following Keeping Up with the Kardashians season finale
- Bachelorettes, Bibles and Amazon: is Nashville the perfect model for a second-tier city?
- Idris Elba's new wife Sabrina Dhowre, 29, looks stunning in a fringed lace evening dress as she attends Met Gala after-party with casually dressed husband, 46
- Hit by a bullet, boxer Terence Crawford vowed to change his life
- Villains or visionaries? Hedge funds short companies they say 'greenwash'
- Science Says: Era of monster hurricanes roiling the Atlantic
- Michael Bloomberg releases letter from doctor that says he is in 'outstanding health'
- I went to New Zealand to understand what a huge California earthquake would look like
- 6.8 magnitude of earthquake hit Southern Philippines; no tsunami risk seen
Could an earthquake hit New York City? History says yes, but not like 9.0 magnitude Japan earthquake have 667 words, post on www.nydailynews.com at March 17, 2011. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.