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.

Post by: ,
Filed under: U.S. • Weather
soundoff (336 Responses)
  1. Chan

    I am in clarksburg MD and got awaken by the quake. The home was shaking and could hear the louder noise. Initially thought that it could be thunder but realised this was far more stronger than that.

    July 16, 2010 at 5:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. ken

    I'm in Frederick and still felt it shake my bed

    July 16, 2010 at 5:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. NM

    Felt here in Frederick–house popped and one of the dogs barked.

    July 16, 2010 at 5:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jon

    Hopefully this isnt a pre-cursor to a bigger one.

    July 16, 2010 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Farha

      Thats what I am concerned about too! not to forget aftershocks as well.

      July 16, 2010 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    I have lived in Maryland and the area my whole life and have never experienced an earthquake. I was about to fall asleep around 5:00 am (it was a long night) and I was suddenly perplexed to feel the floor below me trembling and hear things rattling around me. At first I thought I was dreaming, but quickly realized after the first 20 seconds it was very real. I immediately began calculating where it might have come from and checked the news for more information. I was very surprised to hear its 'epicenter' was in Rockville – about a 10 minute drive from my home. My concern was that a major earthquake struck the midwest or possibly even Europe, but it turns out to be in my back yard. Very bizarre.

    July 16, 2010 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
    • aj

      why would you at first think a major earthquake hit the midwest or another country when you feel the earthquake where you are in the east coast? I dont get it?

      July 16, 2010 at 6:06 am | Report abuse |
  6. Susan

    I felt something in Sterling, VA around that same time and said "weird... felt like an earthquake or something" and then I saw this post .... don't know if it was the earthquake or not though.

    July 16, 2010 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. Cameron

    I was awake and felt it in Ijamsville, MD. I thought something blew up.

    July 16, 2010 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. Erin

    I live in Silver Spring and had just gotten in the shower when I heard this really loud noise and the house shook pretty hard- I almost grabbed the wall in the shower for support. I work close to Andrews Air Force Base and thought it was a military aircraft of some kind flying over the house.

    July 16, 2010 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
  9. Skip Alvarez

    I live in Arlington, VA and my entire house shook! Even my belongings rattled a little bit! It was terrifying!

    July 16, 2010 at 5:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. PT

    I was sound asleep when I felt my house shaking in Laurel, MD. It woke me up and scared me stiff. Never felt an earthquake here in the DC area. I have have been to southern CA where I experienced my first tremor.

    July 16, 2010 at 5:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. be

    I am in Annandale, Va i felt it too.i run up and down to weak everyone up. it was strong.

    July 16, 2010 at 5:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff Truesdale

    Flower Hill, Gaithersburg, MD – Laying in bed I was awaken by the tremor. I totally knew I was not dreaming!

    July 16, 2010 at 5:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. Monique

    I live in DC NE/SE border and have been up all night long...I didnt feel or hear anything at all LMAO

    July 16, 2010 at 5:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. stefani houseworth

    The US Geological site, usgs.gov, has a place to report if you felt the quake.

    July 16, 2010 at 5:47 am | Report abuse |
  15. Dennis

    So weird, I live in Annapolis and felt what I thought was a minor tremor. I asked my wife if she felt it and she replied, no not in Maryland, we don't do quakes here. Ha!

    July 16, 2010 at 5:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Beth

      That made me laugh! I probably wouldv'e said the same thing!

      July 16, 2010 at 6:00 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16