The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a 3.9 magnitude earthquake about 80 miles south-southeast of Southampton Tuesday morning at 10:45 a.m.
At a magnitude of 3.9 on the Richter scale, the earthquake is classified as "minor" and bordering on "small." Mitchell Gold, of the Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network at Columbia University, said such earthquakes are infrequent in the Northeast but not unusual.
Tracy Sheppard of Riverhead said she felt the quake at her job at Southampton's Independent Group Home Living — but she thought it was the rumblings of a delivery truck at first.
"Everything sort of rattled a bit and it was very fast and fleeting," she said. "A picture fell off a hallway wall. I looked outside expecting to see a delivery truck but there was nothing."
Sheppard, 46, said the last earthquake she can remember feeling was in 1981 when she worked at Woolworth's in Riverhead.
An earthquake around the 4.0 range happens in the region about once every one or two years, but it has been quite some time since there was an earthquake off the coast of Long Island, Gold said. He also noted that there were two recent earthquakes in New Jersey, though the biggest of the two, recording in June, had a magnitude of just 2.3.