Friday, July 16, 2010

3.6 Earthquake Strikes....The DC Metro Area?'s no joke or figure of speech. I thought we were back in Marin County for a few minutes (Washington ComPost).

The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 3.6 magnitude earthquake centered in Montgomery County at 5:04 a.m. Friday.

The epicenter was in Gaithersburg near I-270 and Route 124 (39.145°N, 77.222°W), USGS reported in a preliminary finding. Its depth was 3.1 miles.

Authorities in the District and Montgomery and Arlington counties said there were no early reports of damage. Still, many residents were dialing 911 to report the rumbling.

“We are getting flooded with calls,” a Montgomery County police spokesperson said.

No traffic or transit delays were reported by local agencies, and the quake seemed unlikely to have any effect on the morning rush. Buses and trains were running on time, officials said.

Amy Vaughan, a geophysicist with the USGS, said the quake was the largest recorded within about 45 miles of Germantown since a database was created to track such activity in 1974. The largest earthquake before Friday morning's was a 2.7 tremor in 1993, Vaughan said. There was a 2.6 magnitude tremor in 1990 and quakes measuring 2.5 in 1997, 1993 and 1974.

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