D.C.-area quake

Had a nice little shake-up in the D.C. area today: an earthquake registering 5.9 just a little bit northwest of Richmond (the shock wave was a measly 4.4 by the time it reached my office). I was in my ninth-floor office when things started to happen. At first it was a little rumble that left me wondering what in the world were they doing on the 10th floor. Then the bigger wave hit us and you could feel the building sway. Not a huge shift, but enough to be noticeable.

My first thought was, “Well, no explosion … must be an earthquake.” When I looked around more than a few people in the office were freaking out, looking physically ill and/or terrified. I figured that at that point enough time had passed that we either had been through the worst of it or that would have just enough time to get out. Out we all went:

There wasn’t much affect on the area besides snarled traffic and an extended commute home. This is probably the worst I saw of it:

The PBS NewsHour story on the quake included a nice, interactive earthquake locator from the USGS that shows how close the quake was to DC:

Of course, Californians must be wondering what all the fuss is about:As koxinga21 observed:

wow, east coast earthquakes have a much more effective public relations strategy than west coast quakes.

In the end, though, this was nothing.