Small earthquake shakes Baltimore area

WOODLAWN, Md. (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey says a small earthquake shook the Baltimore area on Friday afternoon.

Paul Caruso, a geophysicist at the USGS National Earthquake Information Center, says the quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 2.6, happened around 3:40 p.m. It was centered in Woodlawn, just west of Baltimore, and was about 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) deep.

“The closer they are to the epicenter, the more shaking they would experience,” Caruso said. “But with a minor quake like this magnitude 2.6, people would probably just feel a little bit of vibration and maybe a little bit of shaking, they might see like chandelier is swinging back and forth, something like that. We wouldn’t expect any damage from something like this.”

More than an hour after the quake struck, fire department officials in Baltimore city and Baltimore County said they had no reports of injuries or damage from the quake.

Caruso said people can go to the USGS website and record their experience with the quake.

He said the information is useful in learning how seismic energy is transmitted underground. In states where earthquakes are common, he said the information is used to help create warnings about future quakes.

“These reports will go into their seismic hazard maps. And there’s the prediction of, you know, how strong how earthquakes will be felt in the area.”

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report. 

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