Home Energy and Environment Small Earthquake Felt in Northern Virginia

Small Earthquake Felt in Northern Virginia


I just experienced my first earthquake, getting shaken awake at about 5:02am. Not sure how long it lasted, but after waking up, it felt like my bedroom was inside a giant cell phone on the vibrate setting for about 15 seconds.

Did you feel it? Let us know in comments.

UPDATE 5:15am: US Geological Survey reporting a preliminary magnitude of 3.7, centered near Gaithersburg, MD.

UPDATE 5:26am: After being reviewed by seismologist, USGS puts quake at 3.6 centered a bit closer to Germantown, MD.

UPDATE by Lowell 5:41 am: Great work by Miles, who posted this news 7 minutes before the Washington Post. So far, no word from the Sun Gazette, the Connection Newspapers, the Washington Times or the Washington Examiner on this story.

UPDATE 6:06am: Not Larry Sabato says it looks like a lot of people got woken up by the quake & just decided to stay up, tweeting, “Hysterical- the #DCQuake really woke a lot of people up. Traffic already tied up for morning commute in #Rosslyn outside my window.”

UPDATE 6:10am: From NBC’s Jeff Rossen via Twitter: “USGS: The quake was largest recorded within 50 kilometers of Washington DC since a database was created to track activity in 1974.”

  • We didn’t know what it was, but I thought it might have been an earthquake.

  • blue bronc

    The dog woke me up just before it rolled by. He moved up from the foot of the bed to next to my shoulder. A little noise from some things shifting a little. Then we went back to sleep for another hour.  

    When McConnell and Boehner (when will the man pronounce his own name correctly?) announce they are gay and changing parties then I will know a real big earthquake occurred.  

  • Teddy Goodson

    I felt it, too, more as a strange gurgling in the water pipes than anyting else.  

  • jwsevert

    It gave my old house in DC enough of a shake to wake me, which is a bit unusual.  Having been in Sherman Oaks, California, though, for the 1994 Northridge Quake, I just rolled over and went back to sleep this morning.  

  • but I live by 395 and sometimes the trucks stop on the highway and rumble. I wasn’t really sure and just went back to sleep.

  • I missed it, here on the Fairfax/Burke line.  I’m childishly peeved that I didn’t witness it at all.

    When I was growing up, we lived two blocks from one of the largest metal pipe making factories in the US, and from time to time they would lose control of the pipe and it would clatter to the concrete floor.  The shock/sound waves were so strong you could FEEL them as they rolled over you.  It sounded like poorly tuned bells ringing.  When the factory closed in the 1980’s, I missed the sounds and shakings terribly.  As a child, the sounds were thrilling to hear.  As an adult, I miss knowing that we actually made something that could make such a sound, and the employment for the people who made them.

    (laugh) For me, missing the earthquake is missing out on a tiny slice of childhood nostalgia!