When Tuesday afternoon's earthquake hit, most Harford County residents didn't know what was happening.
"It was a freaky experience," said Belcamp resident Albert Zuro Jr.
Zuro was at the Aberdeen Target with his wife and son getting his son's prescription filled when the floor began to shake.
"I felt the floor shaking underneath of me," he said of the frightening experience. "I watched the concrete walls shake back and forth and things fall off the shelves."
During the 10 to 15 seconds the earthquake lasted, Zuro was at the pharmacy section of the store while his wife and son were several aisles over. Pharmacists tried to usher customers out of the store, but Zuro wouldn't leave without his family. He yelled for them until they found each other in the store.
"I thought, 'what is going on here?'" Zuro saw shelves sway and products fall onto the floor. Though, that was the worse of the damage Zuro saw in the store. "I thought it was a truck or APG doing something," he said, not knowing what was happening.
Pharmacists instructed customers to stay off their cell phones because they were unable to call anyone due to phone line congestion.
"The feeling underneath your feet and to actually watch those walls move made you a little motion sick," he said. Luckily, Zuro's home was undamaged.
"People in California are probably laughing at us, but for us this is crazy."
Residents of southern Harford County are accustomed to hearing booms, feeling windows shake and experiencing minor ground trembling from munitions testing atAberdeen Proving Ground.
Tuesday's shaking, however, was a whole different matter.
David Felix, of Street in the northern part of the county, knew exactly what was going on when the earthquake began. Felix is originally from Los Angeles.
"I was terrified [during] my first one [when I was] 19," Felix said, but added that the occurrence isn't a huge deal anymore to him.
Felix was at home with his wife at the time, who asked what was happening. "[It was] just a little bit of rumbling," he said. Felix was most surprised at how far the earthquake was felt.
"[It] didn't scare more than thunder," said Bel Air resident Larry Bledsoe. "I don't see what the big panic is."
Bledsoe added that he thought there would be more damage from the earthquake, considering all the shaking.
Floyd Hershey, another Bel Air resident, was "all shook up" from the incident. Hershey's shelves shook and pipes rattled, but everything was left undamaged.
Phil Smith, of Bel Air, thought it was "no big deal."
Smith, a financial advisor who works on Main Street, also felt that various government building evacuations were unnecessary.
"The people who [are] supposed to protect us in D.C. were running away," he said.
Grant Dircks, also a financial advisor for Wells Fargo Advisors on Main Street, was with a client when things started move.
"The client thought I was shaking my leg at first," he said.
Claire Zurkowski described the experience as "surreal." The Havre de Grace resident was at the Maryland School of Ballet and Modern Dance on Main Street when the wall started to shake.
"I thought someone was hitting the wall," she said. "It was like, 'Did that just happen?'"Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun