NYC earthquake a 'surreal' experience for New Zealander

Residents and police gather outside of homes that were structurally damaged and had to be...
Residents and police gather outside of homes that were structurally damaged and had to be evacuated after New York City and parts of New Jersey experienced a 4.8 magnitude earthquake. Photo: Getty Images
A New Zealander living in New York says it's been "very strange and surreal" to experience an earthquake, after a magnitude 4.8 quake rocked the north-east United States.

The rare quake struck around 10.20 on Friday morning local time (3.23am NZT) in New Jersey, and could be felt from Pennsylvania to Connecticut.

In New York, the Statue of Liberty was seen swaying, while planes were grounded.

Rosie Gordon and her flatmate were working at home in the New York borough of Brooklyn when they heard a rumbling that they initially thought was a truck.

"But then it started to get more and more shaky, it got quite strong and I said to her 'I think it's an earthquake'.

Rosie Gordon. Photo: RNZ/Samuel Rillstone
Rosie Gordon. Photo: RNZ/Samuel Rillstone
"So we ran over to the doorway and put our shoes on, getting ready to go outside and then it faded out and stopped."

Gordon, a former RNZ reporter who now works for the United Nations, said New Yorkers have been "rattled" by the quake.

There have been warnings there could be aftershocks.

It's pretty unusual for New York to have earthquakes.... People have been a little bit cautious and on edge but overall the message from officials has been to go about your day as normal.

"Luckily there haven't been any reports of injury or any major damage."

Gordon, who is from Wellington, said while she and her Kiwi flatmate sheltered in a doorway, many residents in her apartment building headed outside.

A British friend was in her high-rise apartment in Manhattan and texted Gordon asking for advice.

"I think people have been pretty nervous.

"For us, I guess it kind of reminds you of home but it was still very strange.

"You just don't expect to experience that kind of thing in New York."

By Rachel Helyer Donaldson