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Unusual Wake-Up Call: 1.7 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Roosevelt Island and Queens


Early Tuesday morning, residents of Roosevelt Island and Queens were startled by an unexpected event – a 1.7 magnitude earthquake that jolted them awake. The incident, centered near Astoria, Queens, left residents on edge, with reports of power outages and shaken buildings. Despite the initial shock, there were no reports of injuries or significant damage in New York City.

The Quake’s Impact:

At precisely 5:45 a.m., residents in Roosevelt Island, Astoria, and the Upper East Side experienced a sudden jolt, accompanied by a loud noise reminiscent of an explosion. Emergency calls flooded in simultaneously, describing the sensation of buildings shaking.

A resident shared their experience, saying, “It was like an explosion, sounded like a bomb went off. The building shook, it woke us up. We called downstairs and they said it happened to all four buildings.” The streets remained open, but the morning saw a substantial response from the FDNY, particularly around the 2 and 4 River Road buildings just south of the Roosevelt Island Bridge and Tram.

Power Outages and Commotion:

The quake’s impact was not limited to the seismic event alone; buildings at 2 and 4 River Road experienced power outages, leaving residents navigating stairwells due to non-functional elevators. Amidst the confusion, one resident remarked, “The elevators were out, we walked down. So much commotion going on. No one knew what was going on.”

Emergency Response:

First responders swiftly mobilized to assess the situation, checking the structural integrity of buildings on Roosevelt Island. Fortunately, their assessments revealed that none of the structures seemed to be adversely affected. While the earthquake caught many off guard, the emergency services ensured a quick and thorough response to address any potential concerns.


The 1.7 magnitude earthquake serves as a reminder that unexpected events can occur even in regions not traditionally associated with seismic activity. As residents in Roosevelt Island and Queens resume their daily routines, the incident prompts a reflection on the importance of preparedness and community resilience in the face of unforeseen challenges.