5.9 Earthquake Strikes in Virginia Near Washington D.C.


An earthquake located 87 miles southwest of Washington D.C. struck just before 2 pm EDT. The quake was initially measured at 5.8 but has been upgraded to 5.9 by the USGS. The quake was felt across the northeast, as far as NYC, Toronto, Indianapolis, and Boston.


The quake had a very shallow depth of 0.6 miles.

The Pentagon and Capitol Building in Washington were evacuated, as were courthouses in New York City. The earthquake sent Washington office workers scurrying into the streets.

The earthquake was the largest felt in Virginia since a 5.9 in 1897.

In related news, the largest earthquake in Colorado in more than a century struck on Monday night in Colorado, but nobody seemed to care.


  1. sparks says

    I’m in Southeast VA and I not only felt it, I could see my monitor and desk moving.

    That’s unsettling. I don’t know how people live with it in CA.

  2. Angel in Manhattan says

    I live in Manhattan and I felt it. My blinds and great room floor lamp were swaying and the walls and floors began to creak. I kept searching the news for a report and finally they’ve started coming in…

  3. Jesus says

    I thought I had drunk too much coffee or something, but I guess I was wrong. The Japanese people I work with started reminiscing about all the earthquakes they experienced in Japan and now I feel like a total rookie

  4. Todd says

    Well I think God is sending a message she’s pissed off at the GOP for their sins of commission from the budget fiasco to opposition to marriage equality. The GOP better repent and mend their way or the Irene will finish them off this weekend.

  5. TommyOc says

    SoCal native here. Hopefully everyone is okay from the temblor.

    At least you now have an appreciation for what they feel like. Too many East Coasters hole about California and their earthquakes. I’ve read some mock us for our paranoia over them. Others call it God’s wrath for the “immoral lifestyle” we live – something that rarely gets said when tornadoes rip up the Midwest.

    But now they’ve experienced it. And they can see that even a relatively small 5.8 can do damage and put you on edge in a way you’ve never imagined.

    Just keep in mind that eest of the Rocky Mountains, the earth transmits seismic waves a lot farther due to its composition. It only takes on big earthquake to lay massive damage across hundreds of miles. In other words, Philly, Boston, NYC and others can be wrecked by an earthquake as far away as Missouri. So you need to be prepared. Strap and earthquake proof your house, even if you think “it’ll never happen here.”
    Be safe, brothers and sisters. And stay away from brick facades.

  6. Matt says

    In NoVa, and the room I was in was rumbling hard. I thought the A/C unit was going crazy, so I was like better get outta here. I made it to the door in time for the REAL shaking to start…second Earthquake I’ve been in that was centered near Richmond, the last one was a 4.1 though.

  7. Gay American says

    Here in PHiladelphia in Center City….was on the 18th floor of our ofc bldg – in cafe’….highest flr…..floor felt Spongy…our bldg evacuated for about 20minutes or so….

  8. cacandideinnc says

    It was strong here in North Carolina–chandeliers swinging, floors bouncing. The question arises, is this all there is, or is it a precursor to more. I’m considering taking the china out of the cabinet.

  9. Rick says

    Earthquake outside Washington and a hurricane bearing down on the East Coast…which crazy will be the first to blame Obama and the gays for this??? Lol!

  10. rayrayj says

    We’re near Ft. Bragg, NC so the building shaking was not a new phenomenon. The Army likes to blow things up and the vibrations from the explosives travel. This was different however as the shaking continued for several seconds. Kind of exciting.

  11. Paul says

    I grew up in San Francisco and now live in NY. At work in Brooklyn we felt it but I kept saying ‘it CAN’T be an earthquake’ because we just don’t have them here. So much for that theory. As quakes go, it wasn’t a big one but it sure has people in the office buzzing.

  12. JT says

    I’ll take them blaming the gays first for $20. The liberals will take second blame, and muslims and other assorted brown people with take third.
    Along with the hurricane moving that way, the drought in Texas, and the Tornadoes, I hope Rick Perry finds a prayer that works, cuz God seems none too pleased with his followers.

  13. scollingsworth says

    Felt it in the North Berkshires in Massachusetts. Thought it was the dog leaning against the chair and finally looked down to tell her to knock it off, but she was on the other side of the room and at that point I saw the lamp chains swinging and clinking.

  14. dbearhug says

    Definitely felt it in my office in Zebulon, NC. Very odd feeling of shaking throughout the building, rattling of blinds and computers. Went through a mental checklist and finally thought, ‘Earthquake!’ But, in NC?? Then it stopped and I started scanning the internet. My sister in California was impressed with the 5.95 rating we got.

  15. Scot says

    My first impulse is to tell you to F-off. I live in Colorado Springs and I felt our quake and immediately remembered the news stories about the pending nuclear power plant being considered for southern Colorado.
    “Our” quake didn’t even get a mention on the national news. It measured 5.3 and was centered north of Trinidad. Officials estimate it did about $50,000 worth of IMPROVEMENTS to the Trinidad area.
    I’m just saying…

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