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5.8 Earthquake Aug 23, 2011

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Just out of curiosity, can someone explain how it felt? Was it more of a roll, and then more violent shaking? Just wondering.

My students (I teach high school) noticed it first. It side to side shaking of the entire school building (I was on the 3rd floor).

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5.8 is probably pushing some of the limits for building integrity. The newer ones are ok, but I would think anything larger than a 6.0 would be a real problem.

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5.8 is probably pushing some of the limits for building integrity. The newer ones are ok, but I would think anything larger than a 6.0 would be a real problem.

Wife and I went out for a walk with the dog earlier and saw quite a few chimneys that lost some bricks and/or mortar, and a few that will need a pretty good overhaul. I'd agree that it was pretty close to big enough to cause some real problems this close to the epicenter.

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5.8 is probably pushing some of the limits for building integrity. The newer ones are ok, but I would think anything larger than a 6.0 would be a real problem.

It's been a long while but I've been through 6.7, 7.1, 7.3 on the upper limits.. none super close epicenter but not any further than this one. This was a solid quake.. taking it inside a building and seeing some of the aftermath I would not want to go higher. My condo is well built but I'm pretty sure it's unreinforced brick like many. You can only push that so far.

I felt pretty much all the waves I think. Started as a wobbly jellow like feeling followed by monitor swaying type of stuff and then finally a few seconds of surface wave activity which was more jolty. It's also pretty dependent on what floor of a building you're on (higher floors should feel more general swaying etc), soil type, etc.

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Just out of curiosity, can someone explain how it felt? Was it more of a roll, and then more violent shaking? Just wondering.

I would describe it as a pitch and roll feeling. I was seated on a bench. I felt like it came from behind me and pushed me forward then a sensation of moving back, like I had my back to a wave in the ocean I guess. This happened several times in quick succession that got harder toward the end of the 25 seconds of quaking.

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DCPS hasn't decided to close schools or not, they say they are doing an inspection of all 126 buildings tonight. Why does it seem like inspecting 126 buildings in one night is impossible?

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DCPS hasn't decided to close schools or not, they say they are doing an inspection of all 126 buildings tonight. Why does it seem like inspecting 126 buildings in one night is impossible?

Allegedly MoCo did their buildings supposedly lol - they released a statement saying all buildings were fine. But that statement came at like 3 or 4. :P

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I feel so gypped. I was inside my office building at McPherson Square, walking pretty deeply into the center of the building on the 4th floor, and I heard some rumbling and felt a thud like some heavy equipment was getting moved (I wasn't that far from the freight elevators, so it wasn't that abnormal of a sound/sensation). I kept walking, and it wasn't until I got to the lobby and saw the hordes of flustered people heading for the exits that I found out what happened. Two things on my desk were tipped over, so if I had just stayed put for about 20 seconds longer I would have known what was going on. Everyone who sits around me said it was totally obvious it was an earthquake.

Waaah!

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Scared... the living.. CRAP out of me.. I work from home, here in Edgewater.. I have been in a small quake on the west coast, which just felt like a train going by.. This made that look silly. Knocked my laptop off my holding stand thing. I know it sounds silly in retrospect - but I went into full on adrenaline survival mode. Within 4-5 seconds, I went upstairs to get my daughter out of her crib.. This house was making noises I never ever heard it make before.

I'll fully admit, I was shaking like a leaf.

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Scared... the living.. CRAP out of me.. I work from home, here in Edgewater.. I have been in a small quake on the west coast, which just felt like a train going by.. This made that look silly. Knocked my laptop off my holding stand thing. I know it sounds silly in retrospect - but I went into full on adrenaline survival mode. Within 4-5 seconds, I went upstairs to get my daughter out of her crib.. This house was making noises I never ever heard it make before.

I'll fully admit, I was shaking like a leaf.

I know what you mean...for a while after it hit I still felt like I could feel the shaking continuing and it almost felt like it turned my stomach into knots.

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DCPS hasn't decided to close schools or not, they say they are doing an inspection of all 126 buildings tonight. Why does it seem like inspecting 126 buildings in one night is impossible?

I hope yall are closed tomorrow. Makes my job a lot easier. DCPS teachers returning is KILLING my call center. Started last week...oy

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Was at a stop light in Columbia ready to make a right onto I95, window down. New car....and I heard rumble and my hand that was on the wheel started to shake. I assumed it was the engine and started to regret my new purchase. Light turned and I made the right on the entrance to 95 then noticed the light at the top of the pole swaying to my right. Odd....no wind. Car running fine again at accelerated speed. Flicked on 980 WTEM and Kevin Sheehan, at this very moment says "everything in the studio is shaking. I think we are having an earthquake...we're out of here"...then cuts to some replay of another show. Put on TOP news and they immediately reported it and the rest is history...I kind of feel gypped. Wife in Merrifield on 7th floor was holding onto desk to keep her chair from rolling away. Daughter in Borders in Woodbridge where everyone dropped their books and ran out the store.....so gypped.

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It's been a long while but I've been through 6.7, 7.1, 7.3 on the upper limits.. none super close epicenter but not any further than this one. This was a solid quake.. taking it inside a building and seeing some of the aftermath I would not want to go higher. My condo is well built but I'm pretty sure it's unreinforced brick like many. You can only push that so far.

I felt pretty much all the waves I think. Started as a wobbly jellow like feeling followed by monitor swaying type of stuff and then finally a few seconds of surface wave activity which was more jolty. It's also pretty dependent on what floor of a building you're on (higher floors should feel more general swaying etc), soil type, etc.

I'm on the 10th floor and it felt pretty scary. I was writing up a knowledge base on Outlook, etc when I looked up and felt a small vibration at first then I looked around at everybody else looking around with a WTF look on their faces, lol. Then it got worse, I looked outside the windows and saw the windows in the surrounding buildings starting to shake and then the big shake, sort of sideways and my boss came hauling ass out of her office and everybody started running to the stairwell.

The last shake got me and my heart starting pounding. Like I said..to those in earthquake areas, I guess its not a big deal and it may seem like we're blowing this out of proportion..but you gotta realize..most here have NEVER felt that before.

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My experience:

I was actually standing at the urinal (not something i really want to share) in the bathroom at work when suddenly I felt myself go off-balance, and felt dizzy I recall thinking that I was about to pass out, and don't recall feeling shaking or hearing rumbling - that started a few seconds afterwards. When the rumbling started and at first I thought maybe a tow-motor in our manufacturing facility was causing vibrations, but the duration seemed too long and the intensity increased. In all the shaking/rumbling lasted for about 10 or 12 seconds I guess, and I'll never forget the sound. The best way to describe it would be like being beside a train track. It was unnerving actually. I finished up quickly and made my way out of the bathroom and towards the next office building to see if it was felt over there. At that point most people were headed out the doors. I never felt an earthquake before, but was pretty sure thats what it was. I called my fiance in Front Royal to see if she felt it there, and they had already evacuated her office building. Earthquake confirmed. No damage out this way, as apparently the soil of the coastal plain amplifes the shaking, so it was not as intense here as it was points east.

It seems like that my intial dizzeness was caused by a side to side motion, maybe, or just the p-wave. It felt like the shaking that occurred a few moments later was a up-down motion, but low-amplitude and high-frequency. I assume that was the S wave.

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5.8 is probably pushing some of the limits for building integrity. The newer ones are ok, but I would think anything larger than a 6.0 would be a real problem.

You'd be surprised what buildings can take, especially the newer, taller buildings. The ones to really worry about are the ones with really long span open web truss (like Wal-Mart, Home Depots, Strip Malls, and some school large auditoriums/gyms, etc.). Those have small connection points and the walls are often precast concrete panels again with small bracket points. Brick and block construction means nothing around here as most of it is simply a veneer and often with one or two story structures they are not even reinforced. That apartment with the collapsed bricks from the pediment (gable end) that broke off and collapsed on the cars is a perfect example.

Additionally, parking garages are a poor place to be. The garages are often built with precast concrete Double-T (TT) sections that are simply laid on either end. If the swaying side structure expands just 12"+/- that could be enough for the panels to loose the bearing point and fall downward. It is also a poor choice for hurricane chasers...but rather than earth swaying...it's hydrostatic pressure if the garage is within the surge waters, or the winds have enough lateral load to deform the structure to allow the same.

That said...there are a ton of buildings that I'm surprised didn't have more damage. I have been hearing more and more cases of damage being discovered (apparently 37 schools in PG have damage according to NBC4 via FB....but that's PG for ya.)

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I'm on the 10th floor and it felt pretty scary. I was writing up a knowledge base on Outlook, etc when I looked up and felt a small vibration at first then I looked around at everybody else looking around with a WTF look on their faces, lol. Then it got worse, I looked outside the windows and saw the windows in the surrounding buildings starting to shake and then the big shake, sort of sideways and my boss came hauling ass out of her office and everybody started running to the stairwell.

The last shake got me and my heart starting pounding. Like I said..to those in earthquake areas, I guess its not a big deal and it may seem like we're blowing this out of proportion..but you gotta realize..most here have NEVER felt that before.

Earthquakes are not fun -- people only say that in retrospect. I never imagined I'd have that split second feeling of "is this going to keep getting worse" living here. It definitely popped in there late in the game. Similar situation at work.. I think that final bit of jolt set everyone in motion.

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Earthquakes are not fun -- people only say that in retrospect. I never imagined I'd have that split second feeling of "is this going to keep getting worse" living here. It definitely popped in there late in the game. Similar situation at work.. I think that final bit of jolt set everyone in motion.

I can relate lol - Part of me was expecting it to get more and more violent.

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Earthquakes are not fun -- people only say that in retrospect. I never imagined I'd have that split second feeling of "is this going to keep getting worse" living here. It definitely popped in there late in the game. Similar situation at work.. I think that final bit of jolt set everyone in motion.

Like I said...never want to feel that again. Can't image what those in earthquake prone areas go through.

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I had an interesting experience. I was in downtown Bethesda at the Apple store and bumped into a table with the computers. The table started wobbling and kept on wobbling for like 5 seconds. I was thinking, "Hmmm, this is a really really poorly designed table" and looked to see why it was wobbling. Then it started shaking harder and I realized it wasn't just me, and then all the electronics were rumbling and moving on the table and all the tables were violently moving back and forth. I was thinking of what to do, I thought the building would collapse and I was screwed. Finally it came to an end, and I thought it was maybe some nearby construction gone wrong, as last years earthquake was super rare but still weaker than this one; that this was too powerful to be a DC quake. Then I looked across the street to bethesda lane and all the hanging lights were shaking and every patron in the store let out a collective WTF. I finally checked the twitterverse, and whatdaya know, it was an earthquake. Pretty intense.

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According to Washington Post "D.C. Fire officials were investigating reports of significant cracks in buildings at the Ecuadorian Embassy and Bell Multicultural School, said Pete Piringer, a spokesman."

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My heart is still racing lol Really just an unreal feeling. Wasn't too bad at first, just a light roll, and then heavy jolting, probably exacerbated by being on the second floor of the DCUSA big box Target. As the shaking got worse everyone just dropped their purchases and began running to the escalators. But bad enough where things were falling from the shelves and small debris was falling from the ceiling.

Think the region was lucky it topped out at a 5.8. Definitely saw a decent bit of damage to older structures, lots of chimneys down, etc.

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According to Washington Post "D.C. Fire officials were investigating reports of significant cracks in buildings at the Ecuadorian Embassy and Bell Multicultural School, said Pete Piringer, a spokesman."

I walked by the Ecuadorian Embassy on the way back from DCUSA. For some reason that whole section of Columbia Heights seemed to sustain quite a bit of damage, perhaps it's the bedrock there and older brick structures. DC police did a good job getting to the scene quickly to evacuate residents and blocking off the area.

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I walked by the Ecuadorian Embassy on the way back from DCUSA. For some reason that whole section of Columbia Heights seemed to sustain quite a bit of damage, perhaps it's the bedrock there and older brick structures. DC police did a good job getting to the scene quickly to evacuate residents and blocking off the area.

I was in Bell during the Earthquake. I did notice one crack on the wall where some drywall or plaster had fallen.

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