2.2 magnitude earthquake splits Maryland

Crownsville-centered earthquake reported late Saturday, one of 10 in region since 1950.

A shallow earthquake struck central Maryland Saturday night.

The 2.2 magnitude earthquake occurred after 10 p.m. Saturday near Crownsville, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Zachary Reeves, geophysicist with the agency, said the quake was centered in Anne Arundel County, about a mile and a half west of Crownsville. About 165 people reported the quake as far away as Windsor Mill and Dunkirk with many feeling the tremor in Bowie, Severna Park, Pasadena and Edgewater.

The quake was reported at five kilometers depth, or about 3 miles under the earth's surface, making it a shallow earthquake, Reeves said. To those near Crownsville, Reeves said the quake would have produced "a little shaking."

The quake stuck at 10:07 p.m.

The tremor shook homes and rattled windows, but no emergency calls were made related to the event, according to Anne Arundel County Fire Department spokesman Captain Russ Davies said. Some minor power outages were reported.

Saturday's earthquake was one of largest of the 10 that have been reported in the Baltimore area since 1950, Reeves said. In July 2010, an earthquake centered in Montgomery County was recorded at a magnitude of 3.6. Prior to that, Maryland's strongest earthquake on record was a 3.1 magnitude in 1978 near Hancock in Washington County.

A 5.8 magnitude quake, centered in Virginia, shook the East Coast in August 2011.

Some reported Saturday's quake as 2.4 on the Richter Scale, but Don Blakeman, a geophysicist at the USGS earthquake center in Golden, Colo. said the slight variance "wouldn't make much difference ... the same number of people would have felt it."

By Sunday morning, about 50 quakes had been reported in California since the Crownsville tremor. Only one was stronger than 2.5 magnitude.

Baltimore Sun Media Group reporter E.B. Furgurson III contributed to this report.

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