Magnitude 3.6 earthquake shakes Washington, D.C.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Shakemap of the earthquake.
Image: United States Geological Survey.

A magnitude 3.6 earthquake occurred on Friday near Washington, D.C., capital of the United States. Initial reports state that the quake shook windows on buildings in the area, including the White House, but did not cause any major damage.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the tremor occurred 05:04 a.m. local time, at a depth of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles). The epicenter was located 2 kilometers at the southeast of Germantown, Maryland; 4 kilometers at the northwest of Gaithersburg, Maryland; 5 kilometers at the southwest of Montgomery Village, Maryland; 34 kilometers at the northwest of Arlington, Virginia; and 35 kilometers at the northwest of Washington, D.C.

The earthquake is the largest to strike within 50 kilometers (31 miles) of the capital in the 35 years that seismographic recordings have been taken. The previous strongest tremor in the area was a 2.6 magnitude tremor in 1990. "Most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains has infrequent earthquakes [...] The earthquakes that do occur strike anywhere at irregular intervals," USGS said.


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