Small earthquake rattles Somerset County

(AP) -- People in parts of New Jersey got an early wake-up call Friday from a small earthquake that caused no damage or injuries.



The magnitude-2.7 quake hit around 3:41 a.m., roughly 2 miles north of Bernardsville, about 35 miles west of New York City, at a depth of 3 1/2 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was initially recorded as a 2.5 magnitude.



Seventy-eight people initially reported feeling it, USGS geophysicist Zachery Reeves said.



Stuart Heiser, who was visiting family in Morris Plains, felt the house shake and heard an explosion that sounded like a tree had fallen.



"It lasted one second, but it was definitely loud enough and physically violent enough to wake everyone up," Heiser said.



The quake struck along a branch of the Ramapo Fault, said Won-Young-Kim, who heads the seismic network for Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.



Such small earthquakes happen in the region every few years, he said, but "we can't rule out bigger ones because a magnitude 5 hit around New York Harbor in the 1870s."



The last earthquake reported in New Jersey had a magnitude of 1.9 and happened about 17 miles east-southeast of Trenton on Dec. 13, 2014.


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