A 4.7-magnitude earthquake was reported Tuesday night in the Atlantic Ocean, centered about 130 miles east-southeast of Ocean City, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The 6:30 p.m. quake was felt along the Atlantic coastline of Maryland, Virginia and Delaware, but no damage was reported.
Reports to the geological survey’s “Did You Feel It?” site also indicated that the quake was felt in the Washington area.
More than 100 reports were received from a broad geographical area that included New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Reports of earthquakes beneath the floor of the Atlantic off Maryland area are relatively rare, said geological survey geophysicist Rafael Abreu.
Rather than occurring at the boundary between tectonic plates, Tuesday night’s quake was within a plate, said Abreu who is with the survey’s National Earthquake Information Center.
The geological survey said the quake occurred about 6 miles beneath the sea bottom.
Earthquakes beneath the sea bottom have the potential to create tsunamis. However, the Tuesday night quake was too weak, Abreu said.
The most powerful earthquake felt in the Washington region in many years was the magnitude 5.8 quake centered in Louisa, County, Va. Magnitude scales are logarithmic, so that an increase of one in magnitude corresponds to a ten-fold increase in shaking.