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. Chris

    I wonder if it was tied to that earthquake in Quebec a few weeks ago?

    July 16, 2010 at 6:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. jim Little

    The whole house shook for about 30seconds. It was scarry lying in bed, not sure what was going on.

    July 16, 2010 at 6:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Zakee

    It was very exciting...My wife and I were both sleep and I woke up sort of alarmed and confused. My wife rolled over and said go back to bed. She is from Cali and barely even noticed.

    July 16, 2010 at 6:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Selena

    I'm in Severn and thought I was going crazy my bed shook and my son was up using the bathroom. He was startled this is rare for MD...it startled me I haven't been back to sleep yet.

    July 16, 2010 at 6:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Chris

    @Gloria LM – No probably not. It's more likely that the quake in Quebec that rattled Southern Ontario is more likely part of the cause and effect.

    July 16, 2010 at 6:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. greg

    I live in S. CA – yes unless it is over 5.5, we generally don't even think about them...I can certainly understand how an area that this is "new" to, would be concerned....they are disturbing......probably good for everyone to be prepared just in case.

    July 16, 2010 at 6:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Linda

    I felt it in Hapers Ferry. Thought it was thunder or trucks at first but it wasn't 'normal'.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. kek

    It was AWESOME. It broke my cup

    July 16, 2010 at 7:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Ashburn

    i lived in Ashburn, VA, I was awake when I felt this strong rumble and everything started shaking. I went outside to see where was this noise coming cause we have new home construction around the area. I watch the news and there were taking about the earthquake, I was surprised because it is very unusual for this area.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Tarheels1

    Rode it like a rollercoaster! That thing blew all the tires off my car.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Hazel

    Matthew 24:1-5 (King James Version)

    1And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

    2And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

    3And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

    4And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

    5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

    6And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

    7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

    8All these are the beginning of sorrows.

    John 3:16-19 (New Living Translation)

    16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

    18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.

    John 14:1-4 (New Living Translation)

    Jesus, the Way to the Father

    “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.[a] If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”

    July 16, 2010 at 7:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ariel from G'burg

      Thanks for posting.

      July 16, 2010 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • James

      I love how unusual seismic activity brings out the religious fanatics. Thanks for the post.

      July 16, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
    • MrEee

      "There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son."

      Cool, for a second I thought it was a Muslim fanatic quoting from the Koran, but then I realized it's a Christian fanatic quoting from the Bible. That's just way better. :/

      July 16, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. Linda

    so big, it knocked the 'r' out of Harpers :)

    July 16, 2010 at 7:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Jason Kazi

    Felt the earthquake in Fairfax, VA. Woke up, got out of bed, logged on to my computer and couldn't go back to sleep.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Tom

    This was the second earthquake I recall feeling in MD. I also live in Rockville and just figured either a freight train went by or my water heater was about to explode.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Ike

    We live in Columbia and it really shook the house. My wife asked what it was and I just replied that it's probably thunder after jokingly said it was an earthquake. It may have only been a 3.6 to 3.7, but it was shallow, about 3 miles.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
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