Does anyone remember the earthquake that struck near Hastings-on-Hudson in Westchester back in May 2023? While earthquakes in New York don't happen as often as floods or blizzards, there may be more seismic activity occurring than you originally thought.

The United States Geological Survey is an agency of the government, that "operates and organizes within a number of specific science programs, facilities, and other organizational units:"

One of their many purposes is to monitor earthquake activity across the country. But while their attention in such matters is often focused towards areas on the Pacific Coast, the USGS does get their share of tremor reports from New York state.

Earthquakes Recorded in New York State

A report recently posted at SI says that there have been quite a few more quakes in New York state in just the past two years alone.


The report says that the last earthquake recorded in New York state was a small 1.1 tremor on August 30, west-northwest of Lyon Mountain.

The largest was in February 2023, when a 3,8 earthquake struck northeast of West Seneca. CBS News says that was actually the strongest earthquake recorded in of all of New York since 1999.

See Also: Has New York Ever Been Hit By a Tsunami?

SI Live says there have been 45 earthquakes of this writing in the past two years in New York. According to the NESEC, around 551 earthquakes were recorded in New York state from 1737-2016.

44 of Biggest Earthquakes to Shake New York State

New York is no stranger to earthquakes. There have been 44 to hit the state with a magnitude of 3.0 or higher.

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

New York State's All-Time Most Powerful Earthquake? 

According to the NESEC, the largest earthquake centered in New York state happened on September 5, 1944. The magnitude 5.9 quake, with an epicenter beneath the New York-Canada border, did major damage in the towns of Massena, NY, and Cornwall, Ontario.

Heavy damage was recorded in the town of Massena (St. Lawrence County), with a number of chimneys, windows, housing foundations, and a high school gymnasium reported destroyed.

New York City has suffered two damaging quakes of note. The first was December 18, 1737, when a 5.2 struck in the Greater New York City area. However, since it was so long ago, little is known about the epicenter or the extent of the damage.

Another 5.2 quake struck on August 10, 1884, in Brooklyn, which cracked houses, tossed objects off shelves and shook towns in New York and New Jersey.