Are there any chances of an earthquake in the Hudson Valley?


If you watched the news this weekend then you doubtlessly saw images of the devastating earthquake in Nepal. More than 3,000 people have perished and many more are still among the missing. The video of the avalanche hitting the climbers up on Mount Everest was terrifying and it made me wonder if there are any chances of an earthquake in the Hudson Valley.

The Hudson Valley has the Catskill mountains, the Hudson Highland mountains, the Taconic mountains, and the Shawangunks and aren’t mountain ranges created when two plates crash together? It seems that our mountain ranges aren’t what we should be worried about, the Ramapo fault line is where we should be looking. The Ramapo fault line runs through New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and it is 70 miles long. The last large quake on the Ramapo fault line was in 1884 and it rocked Brooklyn with a 5.2 magnitude earthquake This fault could cause some major problems in NYC since it runs from the Hudson river to the East river at 126th street and there are tunnels there.

According to an article in there is an active fault line that runs from Stamford Connecticut into the Hudson Valley and it is around 25 miles long. The main concern is that this fault line runs less than a mile away from the Indian Point Power Plant. Nuclear plants and fault lines should never mix. Take heart and never fear, a magnitude 6 earthquake on this fault line only happen every 670 years.

The Hudson Valley, all of New York state actually, does not have any mandated earthquake safety measures in our buildings, bridges, or roads simply because the chances of a large earthquake happening here are slim to none. The last earthquake to be felt in the Hudson Valley was a “micro-quake” and it happened on July 5th 2014. The 2.5 magnitude quake was near Peekskill along the Appalachian Trail and the US Geological Survey representatives said that a 2.5 magnitude earthquake is not an indication of any larger quakes happening soon.

I have spent 40 + years in the Hudson Valley and earthquakes have never been one of my top things to fear in the Hudson Valley (the traffic yes, earthquakes, no) so I must admit that I probably will not be calling Hudson Valley Agents for earthquake coverage for my home. But researching today’s blog gave me enough information to feel mildly uncomfortable. For now I will just send my prayers and sympathies to everyone in Nepal (donations can be sent out via the Red Cross) and I plan on being really careful whenever I have to cross the Hudson river.