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4.8 magnitude earthquake shakes East Coast of US. Expert explains why preparedness is lacking in North America

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A 4.8 magnitude earthquake centered in New Jersey shook residents in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United States on Friday morning.

The quake occurred at 10:23 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and could be felt in parts of Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, as well across New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts.

The epicenter of the earthquake was located in Lebanon, New Jersey, about 50 miles west of New York City.

Damaging seismic activity on the East Coast of the U.S. is rare. The last quake of significance was measured at 5.8 near Richmond, Virginia, in 2011.

And because of how uncommon earthquakes are along the eastern part of the country, experts say that preparedness is lacking in the U.S.

“With the exception of San Francisco, we are very unprepared for earthquakes in North America,” says Daniel Aldrich, a Northeastern professor, director of the university’s Security and Resilience Program and co-director at the Global Resilience Institute.

Friday’s quake comes days after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan, killing 10 people.

The U.S. Geological Survey notes that severe earthquakes have occurred in the eastern U.S. before, citing the 6.0 magnitude quake that struck north of Boston in 1755. “Damaging earthquakes have occurred historically in nearly every eastern State,” the agency says.

Read more at NGN.

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