ON THE GREEN: EARTHQUAKE SHAKES REGION

A “community internet intensity map” showed light intensity across much of New Jersey. (USGS graphic. Click to enlarge)

An earthquake centered near Freehold shook the Greater Red Bank Green early Wednesday morning.

No damage is known to have occurred in and around Red Bank. But the temblor lit up social media.

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CALM HEADS SOUGHT FOR EMERGENCY TEAM

Tommy Welsh and Ernie Van Pelt with an all-weather truck Red Bank’s emergency services operation acquired for free last year from Long Branch. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

It happens fairly often, Red Bank officials say: someone will express interest in volunteering as a firefighter or first aider, but when informed about what’s involved in terms of training and commitment, he or she begs out.

With first aiders required to put in some 130 hours in training, and firefighters 200 or so hours, “most people who want to volunteer say they can’t commit that much time,” says Tommy Welsh,┬áthe head of the borough’s Office of Emergency Management and the town’s deputy fire marshal.

Now, there’s a third way to help during disasters, both actual and potential, said Welsh: the Community Emergency Response Team. And an open house to detail the opportunity is scheduled for later this month.

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QUAKE SHAKES AREA; NO DAMAGE FOUND

quakeEmployees of Smith Barney mill outside their Broad Street office as emergency personnel compare notes on alarm report. (Click to enlarge)

A rare earthquake, reported to have been centered on Virginia, swept the Red Bank area early Tuesday afternoon, rattling doors and nerves, but apparently causing no damage.

Red Bank fire marshal Stanley Sickels reported fire and police responded to a number of fire alarms tripped either by panicked building occupants or set off by the tremors, but found no damage or injuries.

What was initially described as a partial ceiling collapse at the Sears store on Route 35 in Middletown proved to be just a few tiles from a drop ceiling coming down, a township police spokesman said.

Phone lines were said to be jammed as shoppers, restaurant patrons and office workers swept out into Broad Street by the dozens to compare notes as it became clear that an earthquake was happening.

The event brought on an atmosphere of awe and levity.

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