Minor Earthquake Rattles Washington D.C. Metro Area: Residents Share Experiences

Discover the details of a minor earthquake that shook Washington D.C. and surrounding areas. Explore residents’ experiences, learn about safety measures, and stay informed about ongoing monitoring efforts by the US Geological Survey.


  • A brief overview of the minor earthquake hitting Washington D.C. and surrounding areas.

Tremors Felt Across the Region

  • Reports from WTOP radio listeners and residents describing the tremors.
  • Mention of areas affected, including Northwest D.C. and surrounding Maryland counties.
Minor Earthquake Rattles Washington D.C. Metro Area Residents Share Experiences
Credit: Google

Details of the Earthquake

  • Magnitude of 2.3, centered between Gaithersburg and Rockville, Maryland.
  • Rare occurrence of earthquakes in the Washington D.C. region.

Impact and Responses

  • No injuries were reported, but some residents experienced minor damage to their homes.
  • US Geological Survey’s ongoing monitoring and data collection efforts.
  • Encouragement for residents to report their experiences on the USGS website.

Staying Safe During an Earthquake

  • Basic safety measures during an earthquake, include taking cover and checking for injuries.
  • Reference to USGS and FEMA websites for further earthquake safety information.

Additional Details

  • Specifics such as the exact time of the earthquake, its depth, any reported aftershocks, and the response of local authorities.
  • Assessment of the earthquake’s impact on transportation and infrastructure.
Was that really an earthquake?

Yes, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a 2.3 magnitude earthquake occurred around 1:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024. The epicenter was located between Gaithersburg and Rockville, Maryland.

I felt the shaking! Where did it hit the hardest?

Areas closest to the epicenter, like Gaithersburg and Rockville, likely experienced the strongest tremors. However, residents in surrounding areas like Northwest D.C., Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Howard County also reported feeling the quake.

Has this ever happened before in D.C.?

While less common than in other parts of the country, earthquakes are not unheard of in the Washington D.C. area. The region typically experiences one or two minor earthquakes per year. In fact, the largest earthquake ever recorded in the area was a 5.8-magnitude quake in 1897.

Did anyone get hurt or was there any damage?

Thankfully, there were no reports of serious injuries or widespread damage from Tuesday morning’s earthquake. However, some residents reported minor damage to their homes, such as cracked walls or fallen objects.

What was the magnitude of the earthquake in Washington D.C.?

The earthquake had a magnitude of 2.3 and was centered between Gaithersburg and Rockville, Maryland.

How often do earthquakes occur in the Washington D.C. area?

Earthquakes are relatively rare in the area, with typically one or two minor earthquakes per year.

What safety measures should be taken during an earthquake?

Residents are advised to stay calm, take cover under sturdy furniture, and check for injuries and damage once the shaking stops.


While the recent earthquake in Washington D.C. caused no significant injuries, it prompted residents to share their experiences and raised awareness about earthquake safety. Ongoing monitoring by the US Geological Survey ensures that any aftershocks or potential impacts are closely tracked. Stay informed and follow safety guidelines during seismic events.

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