Seis Matters

Not that New Yorkers aren't accustomed to the ground shaking-especially in cheap apartments near the J train. But the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America has effectively reminded us that the 125th St. fault line isn't a cross-town express.

New research illuminates that the area around NYC is a braid of small fault lines, the added risk of which is greater than previously thought. Scientists say a major quake every century is likely-the last major event was a magnitude 5.2 quake occurred in 1884, off the shore of Far Rockaway, which brought chimneys down and shook the ground Virginia to Maine. But in the past 120 years, only smaller quakes (a handful of 2.0s on the Richter scale) have shaken the city.

Unlike the seasoned neighbors of the San Andreas in L.A., the infrastructure in NYC isn't intentionally quake-proof, so rattling the Big Apple could really bring the house down. It could also shake things up at the Indian Point nuclear power plant, just north of the city, which, it turns out, was built on a newly-identified seismic zone.

Hard to imagine sheer acts of nature shaking the nation's biggest metropolis, but after-as unlikely as it seemed- a tornado went tearing through Brooklyn last summer, this earthquake talk might have New Yorkers bracing themselves.

Via BLDG Blog