According to the United States Geological Survey, a 4.7 magnitude earthquake was recorded around 6:30 p.m. on January 15. 

Officials say the quake was approximately 125 miles away from Ocean City, Maryland. And according to a USGS “shake” map, residents could feel the quake from Delaware through the Outer Banks, and as far west as Washington, D.C. 

Although there were no reports of a tsunami threat or any other quake-related effects, some residents in the Tidewater region told they felt slight shaking. 

“Yes, I felt it. It was a very quick shake,” one Facebook user commented. “I felt it in Portsmouth, VA; Churchland area,” another added. “I didn’t realize it was a shake until now.” 

A few viewers on the Outer Banks also chimed in. 

“I definitely felt it here on the OBX,” commented one NC resident.

Others noted that the shake wasn’t nearly as bad as the earthquake in 2011. 

“Felt more from the baby quake in 2011 that was in Virginia,” one Facebook user commented. “I remember the August 2011 earthquake,” another added. “First time I ever experienced one. I was sitting in my apartment doing homework, and all of a sudden, the building started to shake and I remember my chandelier started to sway. It was unsettling, to say the least.” 

What caused the Virginia earthquake in 2011? 

If you’re unfamiliar with the D.C. earthquake of 2011, let us fill you in. On August 23, 2011, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit Mineral, Virginia – that’s about 90 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. 

According to, the quake’s temblor was said to be the strongest east of the Mississippi since 1944. (It was also felt by more people than any other quake in U.S. history.) This “baby” quake, as some have called it, was so strong that it cracked the Washington Monument and caused $20 million worth of damage to the National Cathedral. 

So, what caused this monstrous shake? Uneven plates. Apparently, the North American Plate east of the Mississippi and south of the Ohio River is extremely uneven, which means if another chunk of the plate decides to break off, D.C. will most definitely feel it. 

Did you feel the quake? Let us know in the comments below! 

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