6 Earthquakes That Caused The Most Damage In New York State
On Monday, February 6, 2023, a 3.8 magnitude earthquake was detected in Buffalo. The quake's epicenter was located 1.3 miles east northeast of West Seneca. The National Weather Service said,
At about 6:15 a.m. EST today, an earthquake was felt strongly by many people in the Buffalo, NY area. It is unknown yet if there is any damage from the earthquake.
Almost a year ago, on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, a small earthquake registered near Buffalo in Warsaw, approximately 3-miles to the southwest of Warsaw, which is about 40 miles away from Buffalo. The earthquake was a magnitude of 2.6.
While we often associate earthquakes with California and the west coast, New York has had 6 significant quakes. Between 1737 and 2016 there were 550 earthquakes around the state. The Richter scale is used to measure an earthquake's magnitude,
Richter scale (ML), quantitative measure of an earthquake’s magnitude (size), devised in 1935 by American seismologists Charles F. Richter and Beno Gutenberg. The earthquake’s magnitude is determined using the logarithm of the amplitude (height) of the largest seismic wave calibrated to a scale by a seismograph.
The most powerful earthquake recorded in the history of the world was the Valdivia earthquake and tsunami, which took place on May 22, 1960. It reportedly registered between 9.4 and 9.6 on the Richter scale. The tsunamis caused by the quake affected multiple countries,
southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand, southeast Australia, and the Aleutian Islands. The tremor caused localized tsunamis that severely battered the Chilean coast, with waves up to 25 metres (82 ft). The main tsunami traveled across the Pacific Ocean and devastated Hilo, Hawaii, where waves as high as 10.7 metres (35 ft) were recorded over 10,000 kilometres (6,200 mi) from the epicenter.
Anywhere from 1,000 to 6,000 people died from the earthquake and tsunamis. It caused between $3.5 billion to $7 billion (in today's money).
New York has had its fair share of damage from earthquakes. The most significant earthquakes that damaged homes and businesses are listed below.