Earthquake Shakes Garrison and Surrounding Areas

2.5-Magnitude quake alarms residents of Putnam County

By Clayton Smith

A “micro earthquake” took place at 10:46 a.m. on Saturday (July 5), in Garrison, roughly three miles south of the Appalachian Trail. The Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network reported the location to be 19 miles south of Poughkeepsie and 41 miles North of New York, with a rupture depth of 3.1 miles. No injuries were reported.

Though the minor earthquake emitted a loud boom, some were not aware of the earthquake when it happened, although others near the location of origin were startled. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was listed as category 5, 1 being the weakest and 10 being the most devastating. It did not occur along any fault lines, despite its close proximity to the Ramapo fault.

Jerry Nappi, manager of Nuclear Communications at Indian Point Energy Center commented:

Indian Point is capable of withstanding an earthquake more than 10,000 times stronger than the one experienced last weekend … Indian Point conducted a seismic analysis completed last year that demonstrates the plant is safe from the strongest earthquake that can expect to occur at this location. We utilize information from seismic researchers to understand what type of seismic events can occur and then compare that to the equipment, components, and structures at Indian Point to ensure that we are protected from the strongest earthquake that could occur.

John Armbruster of the Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network made clear that tiny earthquakes occur often without being noticed.

“On July 8, there was a 1.6 magnitude quake 3 kilometers west of Jersey City, New Jersey,” Armbruster said. “It was not felt and there were no reports.” He included that there aren’t trends suggesting an overall increase in earthquakes, since “Earthquakes around the world behave independently of each other. One magnitude 2 earthquake will only affect another within a few miles.”

Locals from Garrison to the Village of Cold Spring were shocked by the effects of the earthquake. David Hamel, a Garrison resident, was caught off guard by the event.

“I was sitting at my desk when I heard a loud boom followed by what seemed like a strong front of air rushing against my wall,” Hamel said. “The house audibly creaked and groaned. At this time I thought it was just a strong wind, or perhaps a military exercise at West Point. It wasn’t until later in the day that I found out the true source of the disturbance. It surprised me that there was even an earthquake, even more so that the epicenter was just a few minutes away from my home.”

Margaret Parr also had a dramatic experience in her home, located in the village. “The windows and front door were open,” Parr said. “I heard a very loud and lingering rumble and thought it might have been a big truck driving by. Both of my feet were on the ground and I felt them vibrating from the floor up.”

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3 Responses to "Earthquake Shakes Garrison and Surrounding Areas"

  1. Frank Haggerty   July 11, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    This is curious. Not because I did not feel this earthquake. I did not feel any earthquake yesterday evening (July 10), around 10 PM, either, when an unexplained series of waves the maximum of which was roughly three feet high came down the Hudson, towards the Cold Spring Boat Club, seemingly from the direction of the Storm King mountain, visibly rocking the Clearwater as it was tied up at the end of the pier.

    There were no boats or ships to be seen moving in the river. Perhaps the wave was due to an underwater slump or a slide. Or was it another earthquake?

    Reply
  2. Lillian Rosengarten   July 12, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Indian Point is on an earthquake fault line. Are Philipstown residents not aware that we live with the potential of a nuclear disaster? All the way down to NYC, residents will be trapped with nowhere to go. There is no viable escape plan possible. Talk of escape plans are without reality and staged to calm fears, yet are not viable. The horror of Fukushima is played down by the Japanese government. Let us not wait until it is too late for Indian Point is a ticking time bomb.

    Reply
  3. Mark Rettman   July 13, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Thank you for that comment, Lillian. Actually, the evacuation plans are worse than most people understand. When my spouse and I lived on the Hudson River just on the other side of 9-D/the Russel Wright Place we received the evacuation plans for our area as we were in a close radius to the Indian Point Nuclear plant (along with free iodide pills to take in case of radiation). I was always curious as to why we would not be allowed to cross the Bear Mountain Bridge as it was much closer to our place rather than going north on 9-D to I-84 as the evacuation plan directs.

    There was more confusion when I realized we would not be able to drive upstate north of I-84. The current plan had us going north to I-84 then being directed east to the Carmel area. As the wind pattern is generally from west to east, this would have placed us in the path of prevailing winds contaminated with radioactivity (if, God forbid, that were to happen). Further, it became clear,that the idea was to contain any radioactive contaminated autos from leaving the area / contaminating other parts of upstate New York, Canada or eastern Pennsylvania. Scary? You bet.

    Reply

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