For some in Downtown Manhattan, the earth's movement resurrected memories of the area's man-made catastrophe. NY1's Lindsey Christ has the story.
When the buildings shook due to Tuesday's earthquake, many people in the neighborhood around the World Trade Center felt a particular fear. Workers were told to immediately evacuate a hotel under construction in Battery Park City.
"I thought it was a terrorist or something, so I just started running for my life," said an area worker.
"We didn't know it was an earthquake. We didn't know what it was," said another worker. "I thought it was another attack or something. I didn't think an earthquake. When is there an earthquake in New York?"
"We are down right near the World Trade Center. Anything can happen," said a construction worker. "So when you feel the building start shaking, 9/11 really comes to your mind."
At 7 World Trade Center, the building was not officially evacuated, but many decided to leave as soon as they felt the tremors.
"I don't even want to say what my first thought was, it was too scary," said a 7 World Trade Center worker.
Across the street in the World Financial Center, employees were also given the choice to evacuate or not.
"They confirmed that the building was safe and we were welcome to stay in the building," said a worker.
Thousands decided to leave, in some cases walking dozens of stories down, with elevators temporarily turned off.
NY1 spoke with one woman who had been in the North Tower on September 11th and who now works at Merrill Lynch in Battery Park City. She said as soon as she felt the building shake, she ran for the exit.
Another woman who works at Verizon and was also in the North Tower said the earthquake felt much less violent than the terror attack.
"I knew what it felt like when the first plane hit. And this, you could tell, I felt the vibrations in my feet here. I knew right away it was an earthquake or an aftershock," she said. "I knew it wasn't terrorism, but even with that, what do we do? We all panicked, grabbed our pocketbooks and evacuated the building."
The Verizon employee was back at work after being on strike. After evacuating, she and her co-workers decided not to return to the office, a sentiment shared by many who work downtown.