DC Earthquake: Feel the Earth Move Under Your Feet?

Photo courtesy of
‘Earth Day 2010’
courtesy of ‘vpickering’

Feel something shaking this morning? According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a mild earthquake was felt around the Potomac region at roughly 5:04 a.m., measured at a 3.6 magnitude. As the Washington Post noted in its coverage online, this is decently significant for the area. The last measured quake was ten times less severe (a 2.6 magnitude) from 1990. Structural damage is also not likely, given the relative weakness of this morning’s shakes.

As this is D.C., we are always taking suggestions for what nickname this event should earn (a la Snowpocalypse). Clubhouse leader? “The Big Shakedown.” Leave your better ideas in the comments.

Dave Levy is a PR guy by day, a media researcher on the side and a self-proclaimed geek. He blogs often about how traditional media adapts – or tries to adapt – to the growing digital media world at State of the Fourth Estate. You can follow Dave on Twitter for various updates about everything from sports from his previous home in Boston to eccentric and obscure pop culture references. Read why Dave loves D.C.

21 thoughts on “DC Earthquake: Feel the Earth Move Under Your Feet?

  1. I was up when it happened. I still cant believe I witnessed my room shake. I though I would hear everything in my kitchen crash to the ground

  2. I slept through it. I’m disappointed that I did. (Crystal City)

    Rep. Joe Barton, THIS is what you call a shakedown!

  3. I was woken up by the shake this morning. First, I felt the bed was shaking, then the house. I thought that I was in the dream, but it was real… checking the time ~5:05am

  4. I thought I felt a big truck going by early this morning in downtown DC, but then I fell back asleep. When I saw the news, I thought “so that’s what that was…”

  5. My dog woke me up barking just before the earthquake. Then the rumbling started. I looked at the clock- 5:04. I was pretty sure I had felt an earthquake but it was nice to hear on the news that it wasn’t my imagination. I live in Severna Park outside of Annapolis- a long way from Gaithersburg.

  6. OMG! It woke me up. I sleep in the basement, and I opened my eyes and everything was moving. I couldn’t believe something like this was happening. I live in Columbia, MD

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  8. Definitely awoken by something at that time in Glover Park.

    My suggestion: “Barry coke habit gets WAY out of hand”

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  14. I heard and felt my bed was shaking, but I was too tired. I thought I was dreaming until I listened to the radio

  15. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, it was the strongest quake to hit within 30 miles of D.C. since the agency began keeping records in 1974.

    Plate tectonics are a major factor in earthquakes. Studies were done some time ago on plate tectonic movement in Colorado finding that the Rocky Mountain Arsenal was the most likely cause for earhtqukes at that time.

    The Arsenal was pumping radio active fluids deep beneath the surface of the earth causing tectonic plates to slide and thereby earthquakes became frequent. When the pumping stopped the earthquakes subsided.

    Could it be that tectonic plates underneath Washington D.C. are now being lubricated by the huge oil spill of the gulf?

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  17. Sounded like an explosion- the windows rattled. Don’t remember too much shaking, but it jolted me out of bed at 5:04…and I live 4 miles from the epicenter.

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