The Student News Site of Ramapo High School




Earthquakes in Taiwan and New Jersey

Did you feel the rattling on April 5? A 4.8 magnitude earthquake originating in Tewksbury struck towns across the Northeast, mainly in New Jersey and New York. Many students mentioned feeling the school building shake while sitting in their fourth-period classes.

The earthquake was one of the strongest East Coast earthquakes in centuries, the last of that magnitude or higher documented in 1783 (News Week).

According to the US Geological Survey, there have been a recorded 161 additional earthquakes connected to the Tewksbury earthquake, but of much smaller magnitudes. Residents who live near the epicenter feel most or all of the earthquakes and are concerned. However, post-doctoral researcher James Bourke explained that the aftershocks will most likely decrease in magnitude and another quake like the one on April 5 is highly unlikely to occur (News Week).

Mr Hudak, a science teacher at Ramapo High School, was the first to post on Schoology when the earthquake happened. When asked about the earthquake, he responded, “This spring has been awesome! A double rainbow, an earthquake, and a partial eclipse! Too often we read about events or watch them on social media. I think that it’s thrilling to experience nature first-hand. The earthquake is a reminder of how small we are, and that, despite our best efforts, we can’t control everything. We were all like little kids, experiencing something new in real-time. In a way, it’s unifying.”

Additionally, on April 3, 2024, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 struck the eastern coast of Taiwan near Hualien City. There were nine reported deaths and over 1,000 injuries, but Taiwanese officials said that the death count could rise in the coming days (NBC News). It caused significant damage, leaving more than 100,000 buildings collapsed or partially collapsing. Some were flattened (CNN News).

Freshman Wareesha Desai says she is “very saddened by all of the injuries caused by the earthquakes in Taiwan. Events like these make me feel like the earth is crumbling, it’s really scary.”

Many aftershocks have been felt following the earthquake on April 3. On May 10, an earthquake of 5.8 magnitude was felt in the same area. There have been many before and after it, all with a magnitude of 4.2 or above (usgs.gov)

The earthquakes in Taiwan have been causing tons of destruction across the East Coast, but they had upgraded their seismic technology in advance and were able to prepare. Geologist Larry Syu-Heng Lai explains that in a devastating earthquake 25 years ago, “2,400 people died. And this time, we only have nine reported dead. You see the progress” (NBC News). Although residents of Taiwan are used to the seismic activity, we can only hope that the earthquakes will cease and peace will be restored to the affected areas.

A building partially collapsed in Taiwan following a 7.4 magnitude earthquake.
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