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1.7 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Parts Of New Jersey

MORRISTOWN, N.J. (CBS)– A small, 1.7 magnitude earthquake shook parts of New Jersey, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

It happened around 6:30 p.m. Monday in Morristown, New Jersey.

Residents say they felt the earth move, at least 150 of them reported light shaking.

It was a “micro-earthquake,” which has a magnitude of 2.0 or less. A very weak earthquake is not uncommon in New Jersey.

“There are lots of faults because it’s an ancient plate boundary. It was the site of collision and then drifting apart that separated the Americas from Europe around 300 to 500 million years ago,” said Nicholas Davatzes with Temple University.

Davatzes says so many people felt it because of the type of rocks we have here on the East Coast.

“Here you can actually be as much as 10 times further away from an earthquake, as you would be in the west, and still feel it so because of that people feel more earthquakes here than they would otherwise, even for small earthquakes,” said Davatzes.

This area of the East Coast is no stranger to earthquakes.

In August of 2011, a 5.8 earthquake rattled the Philadelphia area sending people out into the streets and even damaging a 30-foot tall statue that sat on top of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden.

That 2011 earthquake was centered in a rural area of Virginia and was one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded on the East Coast.

The last earthquake recorded in New Jersey was just this past March. It was also a small 1.3 magnitude quake.

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