A freight train? Thunder? ‘Holy cow … earthquake!’
The quake hit at 5:04 a.m. ET with a magnitude of 3.6, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was centered near Rockville, Md., the USGS said.
NBC News reported that the quake was felt in the D.C.-area, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Amy Vaughn, a spokeswoman for USGS, told NBC station WRC that the quake was the largest recorded within 50 kilometers (31 miles) of Washington since a database was created in 1974.
The previous record within that time period was a 2.6 magnitude temblor in 1990.
“So this is pretty significant for your area,” Vaughn told WRC-TV.
The area’s last quake — with a magnitude of 2.0 — occurred in May 2008.
Gloria Jackson, a police communications supervisor for the Montgomery County Police Department, said the department has received numerous calls about the earthquake.
However, there were no reports of any damage or injuries.
Debby Taylor Busse said she was in the basement of her home in Vienna, Va., when she felt the quake hit. She was already awake watching television, but her husband had been asleep in a second-floor bedroom when the tremor woke him.
“I didn’t know what it was,” Busse said. “I have never been in an earthquake before. It felt like an airplane going overhead or thunder, but it wasn’t coming from above.”
“I heard a sustained rumbling, like the sound of thunder or a low-flying helicopter,” Nancy Kochli, of Culpeper County, Va., told WRC-TV. “I did not feel it at our home, but I distinctly heard it. It was loud enough to wake me from the half-sleep right before my alarm went off.”
NBC News correspondent Jim Miklaszewski said he felt the quake for about 10 seconds at his Maryland home, which is located about 25 miles north of the capital.
“It started as a low audible rumble that built to a crescendo and shook the house and rattled the windows,” he added.
NBC News colleague Tom Costello told TODAY that the quake reminded him of a “massive freight train” passing nearby.
Thousands of messages were posted to social networking website Twitter following the quake, with many people expressing surprise but not reporting any adverse effects.
One Twitter user, @olli85olli, wrote: “Holy cow … earthquake! 3.7 on the Richter scale. Nothing in comparison to others, but this is new for us in Maryland/VA.”
However another, @stevebuttry, wrote: “Quake didn’t disturb any of the tiny items in @mimijohnson’s shadow box, which can fall if you slam the door. Not that I ever do that.”
The USGS said it was possible that “smaller aftershocks” might hit the area. – MSNBC.com
And that was a minor shallow quake off a much larger quake headed for that region. The LOZ are working over time, and they are determined to meet the time-line by the end of this year for Satan’s Child’s fall.