4.1-magnitude earthquake strikes in Delaware Bay

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A 4.1-magnitude earthquake has struck in Delaware Bay on Thursday, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The USGS said the earthquake hit at about 4:45 p.m. approximately 6 miles east-northeast of Dover, Delaware and at a depth of about 4.3 miles.

“For the eastern U.S. it’s fairly significant because they don’t very many of that size and when they do get one of this side they are felt over a wider area than in other areas of the country such as California,” John Bellini with the National Earthquake Information Center told FOX 5.

The earthquake was given a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 before being downgraded to 4.4 magnitude. It was later downgraded again to 4.1magnitude.

“In some areas of the country we have more cooperation with local networks and sometimes automatics get sent to the website in the early stages of locating an earthquake," Bellini explained. "When this happens the magnitude can change as we get more data and that’s what happened in this situation.”

Bellini said it wouldn’t be uncommon for an aftershock to hit in the area around the magnitude 2 range.

Dr. Lucy Jones, a world-leading seismologist, said the earthquake was an Intensity VI, which has the strength to throw objects from shelves and damage poorly built structures.


FOX 5 viewers have reported feeling the earthquake in the District, Maryland, including Prince George's County and Montgomery County, and in Virginia, including Prince William County and Fairfax County. The earthquake was felt along the East Coast, including in Philadelphia, New York and even southwest Connecticut.

There have been no immediate reports of damage or injury.