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Last Year’s Washington D.C. Earthquake Was a Rare Event

A new seismic study by the U.S. Geological Survey suggests that the earthquake that jolted the Washington, D.C., region last year was most likely a tremor that occurs once every 2,000 years
August 31, 2012

A new seismic study by the U.S. Geological Survey suggests that the earthquake that jolted the Washington, D.C., region last year was most likely a tremor that occurs once every 2,000 years. The study concluded that the quake was linked to a previously unknown fault three miles under Louisa County, Virginia. The tremor was the largest ever recorded east of the Rocky Mountains. The study was released on August 23, the first anniversary of the 5.8 magnitude quake. During a review by government officials gathered near the Washington Monument, Marcia McNutt, director of the U.S. Geological Survey, characterized the quake as the most significant to strike the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains and said that more people felt the earthquake than any earthquake in U.S. history. The quake caused approximately $300 million in damage from New England to the Carolinas, including at least $15 million in damage to the Washington Monument.

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