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Defector Status Report: East Coast Earthquake

A panicked crowd on Broad Street, New York City, after the closing of the stock exchange doors during the Panic of 1873, 20th September 1873. The stock exchange stayed closed for ten days. (Photo by Kean Collection/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Kean Collection/Archive Photos/Getty Images

At 10:23 a.m. ET, a magnitude-4.8 earthquake occurred three miles deep on the Ramapo Fault in northern New Jersey. Because East Coast rock is older and more compacted, the quake was felt over a wider area than any West Coast quake. Isn't that cool? Once the tremors stopped, the region's first thought was I hope the staff of Defector is OK. Let us reassure a shaken populace: The staff of Defector is OK.

In the interests of science and Friday afternoon blog content, here now: The Great Jersey Temblor, as experienced by us, the protagonists of reality. In the comments, please provide your own status update.

Barry: I thought it was a truck passing; my cat didn't wake up. We're braver than the troops and all West Coasters.

Albert: I don’t think I noticed it? I was too busy hewing oak logs with the side of my hand, sorry.

Kathryn: My sisters learned that they were in the same house after I texted about the earthquake in the family group chat.

Roth: They’re replacing the locks in all the doors on my hallway and I was briefly surprised at how loud/dramatic that process was; I didn’t expect to feel it on the couch.

Giri: I leapt out of bed and started running outside before it subsided. I don’t care if the official advice is to go under a table or something; I’d rather fall into an abyss in the earth itself than have my Facebook Marketplace furniture collapse on me.

Chris: I was getting a haircut and felt nothing. NOTHING.

Sabrina: There is a leak in my roof so I thought it was construction workers fixing the hole in my roof. Alas, the hole remains.

Sesame and Melon both fled under the bed at the first grumblings of the quake, which rattled a tambourine we have on a shelf, but Sesame reemerged about 10 minutes after to take his rightful place on the couch. Melon reemerged more than an hour later to take her rightful place on the couch (from Sesame).

Patrick: I first found out about the earthquake when I woke up and saw this in Slack:

Sabrina Imbler [about Melon]: 8:02 AM:

she has to be the most powerful being in any room, so she's rattled when confronted with something more powerful than her

Jasper: I was, uh, in the bathroom. The building shook, the dog furiously scratched on the door, and I thought, Huh, this would be a pretty funny way to die.

Israel: I thought it was my portable clothes washer going haywire at first and shaking up the place. Then I remembered I was listening to a new J. Cole album at the time and thought my brain was breaking from how awful it was. When I found out it was a real-life earthquake in New York City, I thought to myself, Damn, even God must hate this terrible fucking rapping from Cole. A real shame ...

Samer: Did not feel it. This is the third time I've been "in an earthquake" and haven't felt it. I'm either built different or extremely inattentive. 

Justin: I was finishing shopping with my daughter and only noticed that the price of cold cuts is absolutely out of control. It’s just oven-roasted turkey! Not quail eggs! Other than that, I had no idea anything was happening. 

Luis: I'm embarrassed to admit that, after not reacting for 10 seconds, I ran downstairs in a panic and checked outside. I was shaken up for longer than Rosco the dog, who simply went back to sleep once the ground stopped moving. Then I searched "earthquake" on Twitter, as one does.

Ray: I didn’t feel anything.

McKenna: I felt nothing, and even as a survivor of The Great D.C. Quake of 2011, I'm kinda jealous of those who felt a little something.

Diana: I felt nothing because I live in L.A., where we do this all the time. I found out about the earthquake from Slack, where I saw all my coworkers saying they thought they were supposed to get in a door frame. I told them that was outdated guidance. (You are supposed to drop, cover, and hold on.) They did not listen to me.

Maitreyi: This is a riveting blog. I wish you would each write a little bit more about your experience.

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