An earthquake of preliminary magnitude 2.0 struck today in northern New Jersey, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
The temblor's epicenter was 2 miles (4 km) south-southeast of Ringwood, N.J., a community hit with power outages and downed trees in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The quake originated 3 miles (5 km) deep and struck at 1:19 a.m. local time (0619 UTC), the USGS reports. There were no immediate reports of damage, according to the Associated Press.
Earthquakes of this size tend to be felt by people in the area but typically do not cause damage. But the destruction caused by any single event depends on the quake's depth, proximity to populated areas, building standards in the region, as well as the type of earthquake. The USGS frequently updates the magnitude of an event after more data is analyzed.
An earthquake's magnitude is a measure of the energy released at the source. It is just one predictor of the shaking that may ensue, which is affected by local and regional geology. Scientists know in a general sense what causes Earthquakes but are unable to predict specific quakes.
This article will be updated if significant additional information becomes available. Find more earthquake news here.