Towns feel 4.7 magnitude earthquake

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An earthquake that measured 4.7 magnitude was reported at 10:23 a.m. April 5, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The earthquake was centered in Lebanon in Hunterdon County, but its effects were felt statewide including Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset counties. Buildings shook and windows rattled.

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Police departments in Cranbury, Princeton, Lawrence Township, Hopewell Township, Plainsboro Township, West Windsor Township and Montgomery Township sent out alerts indicating a possible earthquake. There were no reports of damage.

David Levinsky, spokesperson for Burlington County, stated all buildings have been surveyed following the earthquake, and no significant damages were found. All Burlington County government offices were open and operations were normal.

The biggest impact from the quake was probably on Central Communications, he said.

“The call center in Westampton, which fields 911 calls and does police, fire and EMS dispatch for all 40 Burlington County municipalities, received more than 200 calls during the first 15 minutes after the earthquake, Levinsky said. “Nearly all were determined to be non-emergencies where callers inquired what occurred and if it was an earthquake.

“No injuries were reported.”

Somerset County posted on its social media page confirming the earthquake and urged the public not to call 911 unless it’s an emergency.

“Please check your homes for gas leaks, water lines, etc. for any leaks and report any you find to your utility company,” the post further stated.

Earthquakes are graded on the Richter scale. An earthquake of 4 to 4.9 magnitude is classified as a light earthquake. There will be noticeable shaking of indoor objects and rattling noises, but it generally causes zero to minimal damage, according to the USGS.

About 10,000 to 15,000 earthquakes of 4 to 4.9 magnitude are felt every year, the USGS said.

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