The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Earthquake rattles Lafayette

No damage was reported in Easton. (Photo courtesy of the United States Geological Survey)

This article was updated on April 11, 2024.

A 4.8 magnitude earthquake shook the Northeast on the morning of April 5. As of April 11, no damage or injuries were reported in the Easton area.

The epicenter of the earthquake was near Lebanon, New Jersey, roughly 30 minutes from campus. The quake, which shook several buildings on Lafayette’s campus, was defined as a light earthquake by the United States Geological Survey; the agency reported nearly 50 aftershocks in the intervening week, including a 3.8 magnitude aftershock hours after the first.

Jordan Shaibani ‘24 was awakened by the earthquake in her sorority house.

“My first instinct was that it was an earthquake,” she said. Shaibani, a resident advisor for her sorority house, then checked with her residents to ensure they were safe.

“I grew up in California, so I’m pretty used to there being earthquakes and I forgot that they’re not as common here,” Shaibani said.

Chris Allen ‘26 only realized there was an earthquake after being texted by a friend.

“That’s all that anyone was talking about,” he said. “I walked into Kirby and [employees] were having some sort of briefing on how to check for earthquake damage in the building.”

Easton has not felt an earthquake this powerful since 2011, when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia shook a significant portion of the East Coast. An earthquake this strong hasn’t originated from New Jersey since 1783. 

Lawrence Malinconico, a geology professor and applied geophysicist, analyzed a seismograph with the geology department in Van Wickle Hall after the earthquake was reported. 

“Geologically, it’s probably along the fault which borders what we call the Paleozoic rocks and the Mesozoic Basins,” Malinconico said. “We live on what’s known as the ‘passive margin’ where there’s no active tectonics, but … the North American plate, which starts in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, is being pushed westward.”

A Leopard Alert emailed to Lafayette College community members on April 5 stated that damage should be reported to Public Safety by calling 610-330-5330. 

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Trebor Maitin
Trebor Maitin, Managing Editor
Pennsylvania enthusiast.
Andreas Pelekis
Andreas Pelekis, Assistant News Editor
Tennis addict.

Comments (0)

If you wish for your response to an article to be submitted as a letter to the editor, please email [email protected].
All Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *