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Minor earthquake rattles the DC area

Friday, July 16, 2010 | 6:27 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON — A minor earthquake shook residents awake in the DC area early Friday.

The quake hit at 5:04 a.m. EDT and had a magnitude of 3.6.

The quake was centered in the Rockville, Md., area said Randy Baldwin, a physicist with U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center.

Police in Washington and in nearby Montgomery County, Md., said there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

On the U.S. Geological Survey's website, people as far away as Pennsylvania and West Virginia reported feeling the quake.

Lucille Baur, public information officer for the Montgomery County Police Department, said the department received a lot of calls from people wondering what had happened.

Debby Taylor Busse said she was in the basement of her home in Vienna, Va., in Fairfax County when she felt the quake hit. She was already awake watching television, but her husband had been asleep in a second-floor bedroom when the tremor woke him.

"I didn't know what it was," Busse said. "I have never been in an earthquake before. It felt like an airplane going overhead or thunder, but it wasn't coming from above."

She said it lasted just a few seconds and compared it to a strong thunder strike — enough to rattle the house, but not enough to knock anything over.

Brett Snyder, who lives in Gaithersburg, Md., told AP Radio he was awakened by the quake but said it wasn't a big deal.

"It happened very instantaneously and then off to a day's work," Snyder said.

 


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