Friday, July 16, 2010

Small Earthquake Felt in Northern Virginia

If you're looking for the August 23, 2011 earthquake in Virginia, click here!

I just experienced my first earthquake, getting shaken awake at about 5:02am here in Falls Church. 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.

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 5:33am: I just glanced at my traffic stats and apparently thousands of people got shaken awake & rushed to Google to see what the hell that was. I'm sure plenty of people are rushing to their TVs & radios too, but it makes for an interesting media moment.

My first reaction was to go to USGS because I know from past quakes it's updated incredibly fast. It wasn't on there yet, so my second stop was Twitter. Sure enough, there were already tweets about it -- I think Van Jones' was the first I noticed.

UPDATE 5:45am: By the way, so much for this whole "animals as earthquake psychics" thing. I'd been blogging about the quake for 5 minutes when my cat stumbled out of my bedroom like "Hey! What are you doing up? Maybe it's because you were so eager to feed me, huh?"

UPDATE 5:58am: According to, no reports of any quake damage in Arlington. But what of Not Larry Sabato's damaged self-esteem?

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."

UPDATE 9:08am: Twitter's @capitolization jokes: "OPM says The Federal Govt is open today but liberal leave."

UPDATE Saturday: Just noticed USGS is also reporting a 2.0 aftershock about 10 minutes after the first quake.


BostonAnn said...

Felt here in Odenton, MD-woke me from a sound sleep.

Foodscaper said...

Felt here in Purcellville, VA- close to Hillsboro, VA- WOKE ME OUT OF A DEAD SLEEP TOO!

TheGreenMiles said...

Over at, commented G. Clifford Prout reports, "It was the most exciting thing to have happened in my bed in over 20 years."