Philly rocked by 4.1 magnitude earthquake in Delaware

Our city hasn’t experienced anything like this since 2011.

Philadelphia Skyline
Jason Murphy on Flickr

Yes, the Earth did shake in Philadelphia Thursday afternoon.

According to the United States Geological Survey, a 4.1 magnitude earthquake struck about eight miles off the coast of Dover at 4:47 p.m, prompting people throughout the city to wonder what the hell just happened. (Ed. Note: Our original story had listed the quake as a 4.4, but it was subsequently downgraded to a 4.1.)

Thursday’s quake was felt as far north as NYC and as far south as the D.C. area.

A quake of this magnitude earthquake is considered minor and usually causes minimal damage, if any. Though we don’t hear often about earthquakes in the Northeast, they do occur pretty frequently. There have been 76 in the Northeastern U.S. and Southeastern Canada since June 1, though most of them were under a magnitude of 2, so were basically unnoticeable by humans.

The last time Philadelphia felt anything similar to this was 2011, when a 5.9 earthquake hit Virginia, causing broken windows and other minor destruction.

The Geological Survey’s crowd-sourced tracking of the quake shows residents of Washington DC, New York and Baltimore felt the earthquake, too.

And did you hear about the earthquake over the internet before you actually felt the earthquake? There’s a reason for that. Tweets move faster than seismic waves.

Thanks for reading all the way

Seems you’re the kind of person who really digs in. Want more? Get an update direct to your inbox each morning, with everything you need to stay on top of Philly news.

Billy Penn runs on reader support

Like the story above, everything we publish is powered by people like you. If our work helps you learn about and enjoy Philadelphia, we’d love to count you as a member.

What’s the good word?

Our quick morning newsletter packed with info and events exists thanks to your support. Know someone who might enjoy it?

Send them an invite to subscribe now.

Spread the love

Billy Penn members like you are the reason our newsroom keeps going. Know someone who might want to support our work? Send them a note — they just might join the local journalism fight.