UPDATE: 5:59 p.m. — New Jersey just experienced a significant aftershock, which the U.S. Geological Survey measured at a magnitude of 4.0 in southeastern Tewksbury, Hunterdon County.

About a dozen aftershocks have been reported since the 4.8 magnitude earthquake Friday morning but this most recent one was the most powerful. The other aftershocks ranged in magnitude from 1.8 to 2.2.

April 5, 2024 quake map. (USGS/Townsquare Media illustration)
April 5, 2024 quake map. (USGS/Townsquare Media illustration)

Residents in New Jersey and the region shouldn't be surprised to feel aftershocks following one of the biggest earthquakes to hit New Jersey in decades.

Gov. Phil Murphy said aftershocks would not be unusual within 24 hours. He also advised residents to use "common sense" to assess damage to their homes and buildings.

A 4.8 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter in Tewksbury, Hunterdon County was recorded 10:23 a.m. Friday by the U.S. Geological Survey.  An aftershock of 2.0 was recorded about an hour later near the border of Bedminster, not far from Trump National Golf Club.

More aftershocks were reported Friday afternoon in Morris, Somerset and Hunterdon counties.

Nearly 30 people were displaced when officials evacuated three multifamily homes in Newark to check for damage.

Whitehouse Station Fire Chief Tim Apgar said no injuries were reported but responders fielded some calls from people who smelled gas.

The upper portion of the 264-year-old Col. John Taylor’s Grist Mill historic site collapsed onto a roadway, according to Readington Mayor Adam Mueller.

April 5, 2024 earthquake epicenter and aftershock. (USGS/AP Photo file/Townsquare Media illustration)
April 5, 2024 earthquake epicenter and aftershock. (USGS/AP Photo file/Townsquare Media illustration)

The quake briefly grounded flights at Newark Liberty International and JFK airports. NJ Transit delayed train schedules by 20 minutes as inspectors checked bridges and tunnels for damage.

Speaking on News 12 New Jersey, Murphy said that state officials in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York had not received reports of significant damage.

Earthquake damage to a historic mill in Readington. (6ABC Action News)
Earthquake damage to a historic mill in Readington. (6ABC Action News)

Aftershocks in New Jersey

U.S. Geological Survey said there is a 45% chance that aftershocks with at least a magnitude of 3.0 will occur within the week.

The chance of aftershocks powerful enough to cause structural damage, with a magnitude of over 5.0, is slim.

This is the second earthquake reported in a month in Hunterdon County.

"No one can predict the exact time or place of any earthquake, including aftershocks," the USGS website says. "Our aftershock forecasts give us an understanding of the chances of having more earthquakes within a given time period in the affected area."

Gov. Murphy: Use your heads

Murphy, who was at a conference out of state when the quake hit, said inspectors continued to check on bridges and tunnels.

"We're not hearing — and we've got all lines of communication wide open — we're not hearing of anything significant," Murphy said, adding that people should "use their head"

"People should use their common sense and eyeball inspection. If they have any concern whatsoever, they should err on the side of caution and take it from there.

Video captures NJ earthquake near epicenter

Small earthquakes happen in New Jersey

Friday's earthquake is one of the most powerful ever recorded in New Jersey.

The largest recorded earthquake felt in New Jersey was a magnitude 5.3 in 1783.

Earthquakes of 5.0 to 5.9 are considered "moderate" and structural damage doesn't usually occur in quakes of less than 5.5 magnitude.

More recently, a 3.1 earthquake centered in Freehold was reported in 2020 and one with a magnitude of 2.5 was felt in 2015. Last month, Hunterdon County was the epicenter of a 2.2 magnitude earthquake.

Just last month, a magnitude 2.2 earthquake was recorded in the same area of Hunterdon County.

New Jersey has a fault line that runs through the northwestern part of New Jersey. The fault line is where the Earth's plates meet underground. When they move, they produce an earthquake.

The Ramapo fault line runs 185 miles from Pennsylvania through New Jersey and into New York.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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