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. James

    I live in Ellicott City and didn't feel a thing, go figure.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Ariel from G'burg


      July 16, 2010 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    I blame George Bush for this!!! It's his fault!

    July 16, 2010 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
    • OARFNY

      Thanks Joe. I'm pretty sure it must have been.

      July 16, 2010 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. dane

    that was quite the experience. i thought that jet liner was awful low coming through, or we had a runaway truck on our little roads here in washington grove. i was awake and heard it coming for a few seconds and then it shook the house for a few more seconds and was gone. pretty neat stuff, but it will never beat the time i was hunting in the mountains of west virginia when a tremor hit that was a wild one.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. Palin

    I felt it from my home in Alaska while I was looking across my backyard to Russia!

    July 16, 2010 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. bill

    That was actually our Founding Fathers rolling over their collective graves at what is happening to our country.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Moskovskiy Vokzal

      LOL!!!! Fantastic comment!

      July 16, 2010 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Bev

      a great big AMEN to that comment. They're rolling over for sure!

      July 16, 2010 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. mc

    All joking and dumb a__ remarks aside.. This is real and i feel for you folks that were actually scarred from this. Hope everyone i ok. this is nothing to be excited about nor is it some sort of thrill ride. Earthquakes KILL! CA folks have seen the destruction. God Bless you all...

    July 16, 2010 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
    • keepin it real

      you sir are a moron. People were scarred from this? wow. Why don't you grow a sense of humor and not be such a jerk. I'll bet a lot of people don't like you...

      July 16, 2010 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. JJ

    Felt it in Fairfax about 5AM. Actually I heard it before I felt it. The alarm had gone off so I was awake. I had just hit the snooze button and I heard what sounded like a rumble of thunder, only more sustained. Then the house shook for a couple of seconds. Then it was over. First earthquake I ever felt. I remember thinking, I hope that was an earthquake. Hope the city of DC is still there.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. roasty

    My bed was shaking, but not from an earthquake! Party on....

    July 16, 2010 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. Katrina

    I think the earthquake triggered my alarm not to go off. Slept through it AND overslept!

    July 16, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. MikeFallsChurch

    After killing a case of Corona with my boy, this earthquake did not wake me up, I slept straight through until the alarm.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. Nick

    Hey to all of you that don't know – Baltimore is 100 times better then DC (and Pittsburgh).

    July 16, 2010 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeFallsChurch

      Baltimore sucks, Heroin and STD capital of the world, lmao

      July 16, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      clearly, you have no friends in Baltimore – becuase there are great things to do here if you know a local. And in addition, only parts of the West Side are the bad ones. Oh – and your football team is terrible.

      July 16, 2010 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Ike

      Only parts of the West side are the bad parts?????? There are more bad areas than that, including: Hopkins area, Pimlico, Park Heights, Mondawmin, Druid Hill, and those are just the parts I can remember right now. I know many locals and have been a lot of places in Baltimore and still am not impressed with the city. But, if you grew up there, then I can understand how you would think it's so great. So, it's just a matter of perspective.

      July 16, 2010 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      What "Hopkins area?" The one in north Baltimore? That's one of the nicest parts of the city. The one where the medical campus is is 100x better than what it was 10 years ago thanks in big part to Hopkins buying up much of the property around there.

      I especially love it when people think that what they see on 'The Wire' is truth.

      July 16, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Ike

      Hopkins area around the hospital, not the university. That area is dangerous. Just because it's 100x better than 10 years ago doesn't make it safe. And I've never seen the wire, I worked in that area and still have friends who work there. Yeah, Hopkins is buying up property, but they still issue safety warnings for their employees. So, there are more areas that are dangerous than just the west side. I notice you failed to comment on Pimlico, Park Heights, etc. Heck, even the Patterson Park area is having its problems.

      July 16, 2010 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Lived in Baltimore for 6 years. The worst city in America. There is only one really bad area of Baltimore. Its just that one area is the entire city minus the Inner Harbor, Fells Point, and Fed Hill. And Pat, I worked at JHU for two years. 10x better is still 100x worse than 99% of the rest of the country.

      July 16, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. Patrick

    I'm in Germantown, DIDN'T FEEL A THING !!! I'm going to send a letter to Tempur-Pedic about how great their product is. Glad everyone is ok.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. Frank Huff

    I'm with Jeannete
    This not news, Honerable mention maybe, But a 6.5 would be news.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Ike

      Was news enough to get you to read the article and comment on it. If it's not news to you, you sure wasted your time, didn't you?

      July 16, 2010 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve in Olney

      Definitely news enough for you to scroll and post something regarding it.

      July 16, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. Rahma

    We felt it here in Ashburn, VA. The house shook pretty good!! I'm in DC now, everything is normal. Man, we take a lot of things for granted. God have mercy.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. PedPink

    Maybe it will knock some sense into the republicans. The heavens are mad at the republicans for being so evil. I just had to write that! LOL

    July 16, 2010 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
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