The New York Insurance Department has put out an advisory warning consumers that some scientists believe there is a greater earthquake risk for New York City than previously believed.
Reacting to the Haiti quake, the department announced that the city is exposed to quake danger from “a series of subtle but active faults in the region.”
While New York has significantly less frequent damaging earthquakes compared to California, “it is considered a region at high risk because of the city’s dense population and its concentration of buildings and infrastructure,” the announcement said.
The department noted that dozens of small quakes have been felt in the city, with a magnitude 2.4 earthquake, believed to have been caused by a fault under 125th Street, occurring in 2001.
Magnitude 5 earthquakes occur in New York about every century, the department said, and mentioned that in 1884 an earthquake centered off Rockaway toppled chimneys and its shock was felt from Virginia to Maine. New Yorkers have also felt shocks from earthquakes centered as far away as Canada, it reported.