July 16th, 2010
05:29 AM ET

3.6-magnitude quake rattles D.C. area

A 3.6-magnitude earthquake struck near the Gaithersburg, Maryland, area just after 5 a.m. ET Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The center of the quake was about 20 miles northwest of Washington, the USGS said.

"It was really loud, like a plane flying really low. I had never felt anything like it," said Anne Ngunjiri, 30, of Gaithersburg. "I was jolted out of bed. All my neighbors woke up. After it passed, I thought it could be an earthquake, and lay in bed hoping there were no aftershocks."

Judy Rudolph, 64, said she was writing e-mails in bed in Rockville, Maryland, when her house started to shake. "My first reaction was the noise.... I thought it was an explosion," she said. She said she'd never felt anything like it in her 31 years living there.

The last earthquake in Maryland occurred on October 8, 2007, according to the USGS website. It was a 1.7-magnitude quake about 5 miles northwest of Baltimore.

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Filed under: U.S. • Weather
soundoff (336 Responses)
  1. John

    I live a few miles from the center of the quake, which was close to Clopper Lake. I sure hope it woke the fish up,
    because they have been hard to catch lately.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Greg

    Hmm might explain why the dog woke me up at 5. barking for no reason. But Newport News Va is a little far away.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Carolae

    What a whimp! I lived in CA during the Northridge earthquake and believe me, it was a lot more scarier than the one you just had. After shocks one right after another were coming and you were afraid to go back into your home. What your area had was nothing but a surprise small earthquake which is almost unheard of in your area.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Steve

    Woke me up in Wheaton from a dead sleep. I thought maybe it was a loud trash truck (but, then I realzied it wasn't trash day!)...then I thought maybe my ceiling fan had made an erratic noise...(but, I thought, not enough to wake me up), only answer could be...an earthquake? Wow...it was kind of freaky. I got up and looked around the house and outside for anything out of the ordinary – nada. for Of course, when I got to work and saw my Mont. Co. email alert that it was an earthequake, I was quite surprised.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Brandon

    What's strange about this quake though is that a few days ago I was talking with my grandma, asking her if she's ever felt an earthquake. The last quake I felt was in 2001. We had a small conversation about this. She hadn't... well now she has lol. It's so strange how it occurred just a few days after the conversation...

    July 16, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. momside

    Didn't feel it in Ashburn, Va. Dead asleep.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Snarks

      lol momside it was only a 3.6. I don't wake up to 4.0's in California when they are right under me.

      July 16, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. Snarks

    Just after Obama forced a financial sweep, the earthquake occurred. Coincidence?

    July 16, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. God of Hellfire

    Sodom and Gomorrah. Enough said.

    This is God casting a vote of disgust against Obama and the morally bankrupt Congress. San Francisco has been in the crosshairs for years but has yet to repent and change...

    July 16, 2010 at 9:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • FRESCA

      FAIL! (Big "X")

      July 16, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Glenn

    THE EARTHQUAKE WAS IN GERMANTOWN, NOT GAITHERSBURG. FIX THIS IN YOUR ARTICLE, CNN. WE ARE PROUD GERMANTOWNIANS AND WANT TO BE ABLE TO SAY "WE MADE ITHE NEWS ON CNN!". PLEASE FIX THIS!

    July 16, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Nicky7

    I live in Windsor Mill in Baltimore County. It woke me up out of my sleep because the bed started shaking and I heard rumbling. The apartment building shook and I thought there was something going on outside.

    (CNN Webmaster, please remove the banner at the bottom of the page. It keeps moving and blocking the "Post" button.)

    July 16, 2010 at 9:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Glenn

    THE EARTHQUAKE WAS IN GERMANTOWN, MD... NOT GAITHERSBURG. CNN, YOU MUST FIX THIS. DON'T LET GAITHERSBURG STEAL OUR MOMENT IN THE SPOTLIGHT. FIX THE MAP TOO.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Emme

    I live right on the MD/PA border and I didn't feel it.. Biut my dog surly woke up and started barking like a banchee..... So..

    July 16, 2010 at 9:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Kimson

    I was in office in Columbia, MD and I felt the rattling of pictures on the walls and office blinds rustling against the windows. It has been time since I have had one so it was a surreal experience.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Shalonda

    I live in Hyattsville, MD and it woke me , my husband and my 10 year old!! I hough it was a plane or helicopter!!

    July 16, 2010 at 9:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. ricky

    i'm in tysons and I felt it, but it was not nearly as bad as most of the people on this blog made it out to be. Typical DC melodrama.......

    July 16, 2010 at 9:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kathy

      That's probably because you are farther away from the center. People closer to Gaithersburg felt it more violently, while people farther away experienced less of the shaking.

      July 16, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
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