BERNARDSVILLE, NJ - Sunday morning reverie at 8:59 a.m. was punctuated by a big boom in Bernardsville- and Basking Ridge- and at least 25 more zip codes, according to the US Geological Survey. Within an hour, an earthquake measuring 2.6 on the Richter scale was confirmed by the Lamont Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network (LCSN). The quake was centered at Peapack and Gladstone, New Jersey, 13 miles WSW of Morristown.
In Bernardsville, the quake was experienced as a 'boom. BOOM!!! shake.' In this reporter's old stone cottage, the shaking rang bells. The quake shook Bernardsville Police headquarters, where Dispatcher 35 was fielding calls from residents, and cautioning that an aftershock may follow. No damage was immediately reported, although an earthquake of mild magnitude can cause hairline cracks in structures.
Lamont Doherty estimates the depth of the quake at 3.1 miles, and measures the impact as mild, at ll-lV in intensity. Still, residents were excited and rattled.
The Sunday morning earthquake follows a series of tremors that moved the ground in Far Hills and Bernardsville from Friday, February 5th to Sunday, February 7th. One of those quakes measured 1.2, but Sunday morning's 2.6 is orders of intensity greater.
Residents who would like to report their experience can go to the US Geological Survey Website and fill out the 'Did You Feel It?' form, at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/dyfi/