Earthquake Strikes Off Coast of Maryland, Reportedly Felt in Several States

earthquake location MD
A map showing where the earthquake that hit off the coast of Maryland Tuesday evening was located. USGS

An earthquake was reported off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland, Tuesday evening about six miles under the surface of the ocean, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The earthquake was measured at a magnitude 4.7 and happened about 136 miles east southeast of Ocean City, but few people actually felt the impacts on land. There was also a very low probability of any fatalities or economic loss based on where it was and the intensity, according to the USGS.

The USGS Twitter account that usually updates with new information, especially with information about the latest earthquakes was inactive due to the partial government shutdown. The actual USGS website was also lacking some updated information due to the shutdown.

"Due to a lapse in appropriations, the majority of USGS websites may not be up to date and may not reflect current conditions. Websites displaying real-time data, such as Earthquake and Water and information needed for public health and safety will be updated with limited support," said the USGS website.

Some of those who did feel the quake reported it to the USGS and the reports online showed where the quake was actually felt. The data had yet to be reviewed by a scientist from the USGS Wednesday morning but the reports were available for anyone to see. There were more than 100 reports from people who claimed to have felt the Tuesday-evening quake. It happened in the early evening, around 6:30 p.m. EST when people were likely heading home from the office or getting dinner ready.

The "Did You Feel It?" tool from the USGS is where people can report having felt the quake. Reports came in for Tuesday's earthquake from several states, not just Maryland. There were reports from Ocean City, Maryland, of course, but other reports came in from other parts of the state as well like Pittsville, Salisbury, Hebron, Queen Anne and other areas. Reports came from New Jersey, North Carolina, Delaware, Virginia and Pennsylvania as well the data showed.

The USGS looks at the reports and filters out any responses deemed bad or that might have been filed to throw off the data. "We reserve the right to manually exclude such responses from the final product, but we also have several build-in filters," says the USGS. The data is also used to help the USGS assess the impact of the quake by allowing it to collect and examine data rapidly.