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Surprise earthquake shakes D.C. suburbs, residents report

Surprise earthquake shakes D.C. suburbs, residents report Surprise earthquake shakes D.C. suburbs (Getty Images)

Early Tuesday, a weak quake happened near Rockville, Md., as it was reported by hundreds in Maryland's suburbs within an hour, The Washington Post reports.

Within an hour, the U.S. Geological Survey got 850+ reports about the tremor, mainly from Montgomery, but also from Northern Virginia and D.C. Many were initially uncertain about the event.

It happened during a time when many people were asleep. Witnesses described the sensation as a passing truck, emphasizing growling or low roars. A Silver Spring resident heard a distinctive rumble for 10-15 seconds.

There were no rapid official reports of damage or injury, but people on X suggest that the quake "rattled a house in Rockville and windows in Silver Spring." Reports mentioned sounds like a railroad train or a few seconds of rumbling ending with a loud bang. Someone from Silver Spring mentioned “a crescendoing rumble for about 4 seconds clearly coming from in the ground.”

The 2.3-magnitude quake, around 1 a.m., 1.8 miles west of Rockville, is considered minor, occurring at a depth of approximately 9.5 miles. Most data came from Montgomery County, where Rockville is.

Most recent earthquakes

On January 1, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake occurred in Japan. Tokyo Meteorological Agency counted more than a hundred aftershocks with a magnitude of 2.9 to 7.6 on the island. At least four people died as a result. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated.

On December 18, 2023, the most powerful earthquake in recent years happened in China with a magnitude of 6.2. It struck remote regions between the Chinese provinces of Gansu and Qinghai. 149 people died, approximately 1,000 people were injured as a result of the earthquake, and over 87,000 individuals were displaced.