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Category Archives: earthquake

Early this morning a magnitude 3.6 earthquake shook the DC region at 5:04 am, waking up sleepy eyed residents.  I would know, I was one of them!  The epicenter of the quake was located in Germantown, Maryland which is 20 miles northwest of DC but could be felt in neighboring states including the District, Virginia, West Virginia, and southern Pennsylvania. There have been no reports of injuries or damage due to the quake.
The DC region is not well aquainted with earthquakes unlike our friends on the west coast.  According to the Maryland Geographical Survey, the only earthquakes with magnitudes of over 3.0 occurring in the DC region were in 2008 in which an earthquake with a 3.4 magnitude and an epicenter close to Lancaster, Pennsylvania struck and in late 2003 when a magnitude 4.5 earthquake and an epicenter in Powhatan County, Virginia shook the region.
The US Geological Survey says that aftershocks are possible but will most likely die out in a few days. Scientists are not sure what caused the earthquake but this occurence will help them to understand where the fault lines in the region are. You can check out this "Shake Map" on the USGS website and if you felt the quake yourself, the USGS wants to know your experince.  You can let them know by clicking here. 
This was my first earthquake experience.  I was awoken by a low rumble and my bed and window were shaking. I thought I was feeling a train passing by my house but there are no trains near my house.  I thought to myself "Is this…is this an earthquake?!" I have family in northern California where there are regular occurences of earthquakes so I figured no way…DC doesn’t get earthquakes.  The shaking lasted for about 10 seconds and I fell back asleep figuring if there was an earthquake I would hear about on the news.   Sure enough I dreamt about an earthquake so when I woke up I totally thought it was a dream until I heard on the radio that an earthquake did actually happen.  I was excited but also thankful that I only felt a tremor and not a Haiti style quake.
Did you feel the quake?  If so, comment below and tell us your experience!