The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

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What’s Shaking at Bucks?


An earthquake originating from Tewksbury, New Jersey shook up the Bucks’ campus early Friday morning on April 5.

Around 10:23 am a 4.8 magnitude earthquake rumbled New Jersey, Philadelphia, New York and the surrounding suburbs according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Scientists apart from the USGS said the earthquakes erupted from a branch of the Ramapo fault which is the most well-known fault in the state that separates the Piedmont and Highlands Physiographic Provinces.

Many people were surprised and confused being from an area where earthquakes are infrequent when hearing and feeling the ground and surrounding buildings shift and move.

The U.S. Geological Survey map shows Bucks’ Campus in Newton felt about a 3-3.5 magnitude quake for those who were on campus that morning. There were very small amounts of economic loss or building damage with the USGS reporting an estimated 98% of the region without serious damage.

Although aftershocks have been occurring there is a less than 1 percent chance of a magnitude 4 or above quake happening again within the next week. Earthquakes are infrequent in this area but not impossible.

When Bucks began to rumble many staff and students had varying reactions to this unfamiliar phenomenon.

The rumbling started and the sounds of the building creaking and shifting were echoing in the walls at the Academic Success Center where Ava Odenwald a 20-year-old from Doylestown majoring in marketing was sitting. She was unsure of what was happening, Odenwald said, “I texted my mom I loved her- unsure if the building was gonna collapse or something.”

Staff in the Academic Success Center began to recognize that they were experiencing an earthquake and alerted surrounding students.

Professor John Sheridan, from the music and multimedia department, who tutors students in the Academic Success Center assured the students they would be fine. He began to gather information from other staff members and online news sources and shared with the surrounding students that they were experiencing an earthquake and that it would stop shortly.

After the shaking stopped, Professor Seibert came from a back meeting room and announced, “Did you guys just experience what I experienced in there?” Students laughed and anxiously checked their phones to see details of what happened and texted their friends and family.

Odenwald said that she was worried there would be another soon after, “This isn’t California! This doesn’t happen here!”

With the unlikelihood of aftershocks and lack of damages in surrounding areas students and staff should have little to worry about at Bucks.

The USGS recommends If an earthquake ever occurs while you or others are inside it is important to remember to “Drop, Cover and Hold On.” If you experience an earthquake outside it is important to get in the open and watch for falling debris, according to the USGS.

On the United States Geological Survey website-– you can fill out a “Felt Report” to help scientists better understand the region and the severity of its impact.

For more information on the Tewksbury Earthquake and aftershocks visit-