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. Rdg1

    We will keep reminding all of the mockers. The Bible says this is one of many signs of coming judgment on a world that mocks him. They will continue to increase in number and strength.

    July 16, 2010 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Natas

      You sir are an idiot.

      July 16, 2010 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Rdg1

      Natas – One day the true idiot will be known. The Bible also says, "Only a fool says there is no GOD".

      July 16, 2010 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bosco Bustemante

    It's Obama's fault (no pun intended).

    July 16, 2010 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. lunna

    I'm in Lanham visiting and I awoke to what I thought was a large truck passing the house. I couldn't go back to sleep afterwards. Great, considering I just went to bed @3:30 on the day I drive back home 🙁

    July 16, 2010 at 6:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. Scott

    I live in Roslyn and was awake at the time. I moved here from CALIFORNIA in 2000. Though this is nothing when it comes to what we are used to in to on the West Coast, its surely NOT a common occurrance here in NoVA, MD, or DC. The first thing I thought wasnt earthquake, but what crashed / blew up / was attacked / this time. Our reality is more terrorist concerns than earthquakes and is exactly what my neighbors and I dealt with this morning.
    Have a great day!

    July 16, 2010 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. Waterford VA

    We felt it in Waterford VA but I thought it was just gas until I watched the news this morning.

    July 16, 2010 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jack

    I live in Gaithersburg, MD. I don't know what everyone is talking about – cause it was strong where I live. My house was shaking like, and we all run out and our neighbors where out too. We all felt it to the point that we were staying outside for a while.

    July 16, 2010 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. AFK


    July 16, 2010 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. karen

    Baltimore..... was up at 0430 getting ready for work.

    Didnt feel a thing.... 🙁

    July 16, 2010 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ryan

    Hey Missa! Why don't you go change into your cheerleader's outfit and go do the Mean Girls routine elsewhere. Only people with low self-esteem are always needling and pikcing away at others.

    July 16, 2010 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. deez

    take yall asses back to sleep

    July 16, 2010 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. jenn

    I would not be surprized if we are getting a delayed feed from from the oil well video.... and they royaly screwed up this time.

    July 16, 2010 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. Steve

    Whatever Missa! We don't usually experience things like an earthquake in DC, so let us be. "DC'ers" are the toughest people around.

    July 16, 2010 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Not to mention "DC'ers" are some of the best educated. Missa quite clearly isn't from around here.

      July 16, 2010 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. Farha

    I live in the Germantown Area not too far from the epicenter and definitely felt it. I grew up in California so I am no stranger to earthquakes – I understand how people elsewhere may feel this is hardly newsworthy, but it really is because earthquakes are not common to this area and who says it cant get any worse? not to sound cynical.

    July 16, 2010 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ituri

    I've been in SoCal for about 6 years now, and I NEVER feel anything under about a 5. So if you missed this, don't feel like freak. A 3.7 is pretty small, magnitude-scale wise. Kinda neat for those that did though. I'd have slept right through it. ^_^

    July 16, 2010 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
    • jenn

      I dont thin they are worried about the magnitude as much as the location.

      July 16, 2010 at 6:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sprintcat

    woke me up in warrenton Va. I was in Ca. in the 80's and felt real ones.

    July 16, 2010 at 6:36 am | Report abuse |
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