Watch CBS News

4.1 Earthquake Shakes Delaware, Also Felt In Maryland

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The United States Geological Survey reports that Delaware has experienced a 4.1 magnitude earthquake.

The earthquake was initially reported as a 5.1 magnitude, and then a 4.4 magnitude, but USGS has revised their original information.

Although it was centered near Dover, WJZ has received many reports of people feeling the ground shake throughout Maryland, including in Baltimore, Jessup and Pasadena. It was also felt to the north of Delaware, as far away as Rockway Park, New York.

"It is pretty unusual to have an earthquake of this size in this area," says Julie Dutton of USGS. "It's not typical... There are actually several faults throughout the east coast. There's not as common to have earthquakes in that area, but there are a lot of faults that do have the potential for earthquakes, so it's not that completely unheard of."

As for aftershocks, "there's always the potential for aftershocks, but typically in this area you have one main shock and not many aftershocks," Dutton adds.

"It just felt like a train going by, but there aren't any trains around here," said Gustavo Vila, an Anne Arundel County resident. "I lived in Sacramento for years so I've felt them before. That's what it was, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. That was weird, I've never felt one here before!"

"My husband and I were sitting in Subway and we felt the floor move, but we weren't exactly sure what it was," another woman told WJZ. "And he said he thought my foot was bouncing and I said no, I don't think my foot could move the floor that much. But yeah, we felt it inside. It was mild."

Back in 2011, another rare earthquake rocked the region. The epicenter of that 5.8 quake was in Virginia. It caused damage to the Washington Monument.

Maryland also had two smaller quakes in the last month.

"Lots of times we hear about fault lines over in the California region where we have multiple plates coming together and going underneath each other, that's not what we have in Maryland now," said state geologist Richard Ortt of the Maryland Geological Survey. "You can think of Maryland more of a one sheet continental plate and there are some weaknesses within that plate."

Follow @CBSBaltimore on Twitter and like WJZ-TV | CBS Baltimore on Facebook

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.