Friday Morning's Maryland Earthquake Felt in Northern Virginia

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA VA License # 0225089470

Friday Morning's Maryland Earthquake Felt in Northern Virginia

I used to be a deep sleeper. My Mom likes to tell a story demonstrating this that happened when I was thirteen and we were vacationing in a 14th story condo in Ocean City, MD.  In the middle of the night, the fire alarms in the building went off.  There were people panicking in the hallways, running to the elevators.  The alarms rang for about fifteen minutes before the fire department arrived and declared the event a false alarm.  Some drunken teenager had pulled the alarm as a prank.  My Mom would love to have those fifteen minutes of her life back because she, my father and my brother were worried and scared. I slept through all the noise and chaos.  She still can't understand how someone could sleep that deeply.

That is not how I sleep anymore.  No.  Now I'm a forty year old woman with five furry children and a husband.  I worry about things.  So when there is a noise in the middle of the night, nine times out of ten, I am awakened by it.  If a fire alarm goes off, I am immediately out of the bed and dressing, running to find my cats. I know.  It's happened.  My own fire alarms went off shortly after moving to my home in 2005 and I was alert as soon as they started blaring.

This morning I was awakened at about 5 am by the bed shaking and my dresser drawer hardware vibrating.  It wasn't violent, but it was definitely noticeable and sustained long enough to freak me out.  We have blasting in the area, but at 5 am, that's not happening.  We live a few miles from Manassas Regional Airport and I thought maybe there was a plane crash.  When I didn't hear emergency sirens after ten or fifteen minutes, I thought that maybe I had imagined it.  After all, James was still sound asleep beside me.  After about thirty minutes of tossing and turning after, I managed to tell myself it was nothing and fall asleep.

Bright and early this morning, when my husband and I woke up, I told him about the 5 am incident and asked him to check to see if there had been an earthquake.  He looked at me like I was nuts and gave me the, "Okay," you get from someone who thinks they are about to prove that you are full of crap.  He was shocked to find this article on WTOP News Radio's website that declared there had been an earthquake around Germantown-Gaitherburg, MD.  It was not a big earthquake and I'm sure my California friends will laugh at the 3.6 magnitude.  The article on WTOP's website explains how our regional geography made this earthquake so easily noticed all the way out to West Virginia.

This isn't the first eathquake we've had that I recall noticing during the actual incident.  Another happened when I was living in Fairfax in the late 80's or early 90's..  I still remember seeing some plaques on my wall vibrate.  That one had originated in Columbia, MD.  This morning's was much more alarming as we in Northern Virginia are not familiar with these events.  An earthquake is not a great way to be awakened.  Thank God it wasn't anything major.





Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Anne Clark 07/16/2010 02:16 PM
  2. Pat Fenn 07/16/2010 05:04 PM
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Anne Clark
Metro Referrals - Gainesville, VA

I heard this on the news this morning, but was sound asleep.  Amazing that it could be felt as far as West Virginia.

Jul 16, 2010 02:13 PM #1
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

According to family lore both my brother and I slept through an earthquake in Mexico City during a family vacation.  And in sticking with the tradition I slept through this mornings shake as well :-)

Jul 16, 2010 02:30 PM #2
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

Anne:  The article I provided a link to explains why it could be felt so far away.  You should check it out.

Cindy:  You are not alone. I think the majority of folks slept through it. 

Jul 16, 2010 02:39 PM #3
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Michigan

I never felt one and i really don't want to. Glad everything and everyone is ok.

Jul 16, 2010 04:45 PM #4
Pat Fenn
Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker - Springfield, VA

Thought it was the dog jumping on the bed :-)

Jul 16, 2010 05:37 PM #5
Carra Riley
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO

I guess hubby won't doubt you in the future!  LOL

Jul 16, 2010 06:40 PM #6
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

Robert:  Startling was how I would describe it.  Never would have expected to be awakened by an earthquake.

Pat:  My immediate thought was the cats were fighting.  There was no growling or hissing though.

Carra:  Sure he will.  It's his job.  :)

Jul 16, 2010 07:55 PM #7
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass

Chris Ann:

When I lived in San Francisco for so many years, I went through three earthquakes.  They were all in the 3.5 range.  No major damage - but all very frightening, none-the-less.

I am glad you came out of yours okay.

(You temporarily got me with the five furry children line. I had to read that a couple of times...)


Jul 16, 2010 10:20 PM #8
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Northern VA

Claudette:  Didn't mean to confuse you.  That's exactly what they are to me...furry kids.

Jul 17, 2010 11:33 AM #9
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