SALISBURY, Md. – An earthquake was detected in the waters offshore of Ocean City on Tuesday night.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported the earthquake, which had a magnitude of 4.7. The earthquake occurred approximately 136 miles off the coast of Maryland at about 6:30 p.m. EST.
Despite the far distance from shore, it is possible an earthquake of this magnitude could be felt on land. USGS showed about 30 people – most in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia – reported feeling effects from the earthquake as of about 8 p.m. Tuesday.
The Earth’s crust near the eastern part of the United States is more rigid, which is why earthquakes tend to be felt from farther distances than those that occur off the West Coast, said Jana Pursley, a geophysicist for USGS.
But it is highly unlikely this earthquake caused any damage on land. By the time the seismic waves travel through the water to the coast, the shaking significantly weakened, Pursley said.
As of about 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had not reported any tsunami activity off the East Coast.
The town of Ocean City posted on Facebook about the earthquake, saying officials were aware of the situation.
“Although we have seen no effects here, our Emergency Services Department has been in contact with our State partners and will be monitoring as needed,” town officials said in the post.
The last significant earthquake reported on the Delmarva peninsula was Nov. 30, 2017. The magnitude 4.1 earthquake struck about 10 miles east-northeast of Dover, Delaware.
In 2011, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck Delmarva and the East Coast. Residents throughout Delmarva and as far away from the epicenter as New York City and southern Canada reported feeling the earthquake as it reverberated through the area.
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