Earthquake Update & Preparedness

April 5, 2024

On Friday, April 5, 2024, the Princeton University community received an update regarding the earthquake and emergency preparedness information:

This morning, an earthquake was felt on the Princeton University campus. The US Geological Survey currently lists the quake as a magnitude 4.8, originating 7 km north of Whitehouse Station, NJ (about 30 miles north of the University). Aftershocks are possible in the hours and days to come.

There have been no reports of injuries or any significant damage on the Princeton campus or other University facilities. (Officials at PPPL continue to evaluate the status of facilities there, and the Lab has closed for the day.) No issues have been noted with any construction activities on campus. Report any injuries to DPS at 609-258-1000 or any damage to Facilities at 609-258-8000.

Before today, the last notable seismic event felt in Princeton was in August 2011 from a magnitude 5.8 earthquake, with the epicenter being near Richmond, VA.

While earthquakes are rare in New Jersey, it is important to be prepared. Information about what to do in case of an earthquake is available on the Emergency Management website.

Guidance includes:

  1. DROP to your hands and knees.
  2. Take COVER under a sturdy desk or table. If there is no shelter nearby, get down near an interior wall or next to low-lying furniture and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
  3. Stay clear of windows or glass that could shatter.
  4. If outside, move away from buildings, streetlights and utility wires.
  5. Do not attempt to evacuate a building while the earthquake is in progress. Evacuation is recommended after the earthquake if the building has sustained structural damage.