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earthquake-disaster

Earthquakes?! We usually only expect to hear about these on the West Coast. Its been quite sometime since the word “earthquake” was muttered on this side of the country but, today was a different story. An earthquake hit Maryland and here’s what Hot Indie News reported:

Maryland- 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.

The earthquake was the largest in the area since 1974 — and the first registering above 3.0 on the Richter scale there in that time period, said Amy Vaughan, a geophysicist at the USGS National Earthquake Information Center.

“This is a significant event for the region,” she said.

About an hour after the quake, Vaughan said more than 5,500 people had reported feeling it across Maryland, in nearby Washington, and in states including West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware.

“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.”

Until Friday, the largest earthquake recorded within a 75-kilometer (about 47 miles) radius of Gaithersberg since 1974 was a 2.7-magnitude quake in 1993, Vaughan said.

But geologically speaking, she said it was “not completely unexpected” for a 3.6-magnitude quake to hit there.

“Occasionally these things do happen even east of the Rockies, even though it’s not really on a plate boundary where we expect earthquakes… Faults do exist from when the continent was forming. There are small faults that do exist within this area,” she said.

Vaughan said major structural damage was unlikely, but people may experience aftershocks for the next day, or even a week or two after the quake.

Washington’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency said no injuries or property damage had been reported.

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. For more information click here!

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