Washington: A rare 3.6-magnitude quake
rattled Washington and the surrounding area early on Friday,
startling locals unfamiliar with the experience of wobbly
walls and trembling earth.
The quake struck 35 kilometres northwest of the US
federal capital, in the state of Maryland, at 0904 GMT, the US
Geological Survey said.
But it was felt by residents living and working in
downtown Washington near the White House, as well as south of
the capital in the state of Virginia.
The event prompted a flood of calls to emergency
services, officials told the Washington Post, which headlined
its coverage "Yes, that was an earthquake."
The USGS received thousands of reports about the
quake, including from states as far away from the epicentre as
Georgia, Wisconsin and New York.
Earthquakes are unusual on the US east coast, and
there is no record of a trembler ever having been centered in
the US capital.
The earliest quake known to have affected the capital
was in 1758, but it is believed to have been centered in
In 1828, then-president John Quincy Adams recorded in
his diary his shock at the "violent" tremors associated with a
quake that was felt across seven states on the US east coast,
as well as Washington, the USGS said.
"I was writing in this book, when the table began to
shake under my hand and the floor under my feet," he wrote.
"There was a momentary sensation as of the heaving of a ship
on the waves. It continued about two minutes, then