OMG, Did Delaware Just Experience an Earthquake?


A few minutes back, around 1:49PM ET, we felt the whole house shake.

Not a mild shake but something more severe.

You know, this side and that as if it was going to collapse. It lasted about 15-20 seconds.

We rushed out in fear.

Only to see our African-American neighbor running out of his house yelling, What the Hell.

As we looked down our road, we saw children and elders rushing out to the street.

People started frantically calling on their cell-phones. Who were they calling? Loved ones, police?

Down the road, we heard a middle-aged white lady telling her neighbors, I’m glad it was not just me.

Smyrna Town – Strong Quake

The Earthquake or whatever it was struck powerfully in Smyrna Town in Kent county of Delaware.

Going by the magnitude, we’re guessing the quake must have been 5-7 on the Richter scale.

A shelf-stockist at the Acme grocery store on Glenwood Ave in Smyrna told us that some boxes had fallen off the shelves but there was no damage otherwise.

Some Boxes Fell of the Shelves during the August 23, 2011 EarthquakeSome Boxes Fell off the Shelves at Acme

Reactions to Delaware Earthquake:


Crazy, isn’t it? The first time I’ve been through something like that.
– A Teller at Wilmington Trust Bank/M&T, Smyrna

I felt the floor move.
– Kirit Patel, Liquor Store Owner, Reba Liquors, Smyrna

Kirit Patel of Reba Liquors in Smyrna Felt the Floor MoveKirit Patel (owner) felt the Floor Move

At this time, we’re unsure if New Castle County and Sussex County were also hit.

Update: The quake was felt from Virginia to NYC and beyond.

Certain Damage

We have no doubt that the quake must have caused serious damage in parts of Delaware, particularly to older buildings.

On the positive side, we’ve not heard any police or ambulance sirens.

Quake Hits Philadelphia Too?

Going by the IP addresses of our visitors, it looks like the quake might have hit Philadelphia and other parts of Pennsylvania too.

Quake Strikes DC, Virginia, NYC

Media reports say that a 5.8 earthquake in Virgina was felt in Delaware, Washington DC and New York City and North Carolina.

The White House was evacuated for a short while.

We’re heading out now to see if things are all right near Rt-13 in Smyrna, DE.

No visible damage in Smyrna that we could see during a short drive around town.

Of course, there could be structural damages to buildings that can’t be discerned by the naked eye.

All in all, despite the powerful effect of the earthquake it does not look like there’s been any loss of life or serious injuries.

11 Responses to "OMG, Did Delaware Just Experience an Earthquake?"

  1. முனிAndy   August 23, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Virginia quake..

    I felt a rumble around that time, but I thought it was caused by the rocket-propelled grenade that hit my teammate in the videogame I was playing.. he died a gory death. Not sure if it was the earthquake or just the video game RPG. My neighbor, who lives about .3 mile away from me, also felt the quake it seems. Responds:

    So, the quake’s effect was felt as north as NYC/Rhode Island and as south as North Carolina.

    Did Al Qaeda have anything to do with it? You never know. Could be the ripple effects of an off-the-coast nuclear blast?

    • rama dasa   August 23, 2011 at 2:53 pm

      did’nt feel anything in ohio (earthquakes I mean) Responds:

      Well, when did people ever feel anything in Ohio?

      Except, maybe when that whacko Michelle Bachman passes through town. 😉

      • rama dasa   August 23, 2011 at 3:01 pm

        when George Bush Jr. came to Wayne (a small town near home) my god everyone went nuts (greeting him not what everyone else on the planet would have done (throwing eggs and/or root veggie’s at him) Responds:

        Rumors that George Bush jr was dropped on his head far too many times as a child are indeed true. 🙁

        • rama dasa   August 24, 2011 at 6:23 pm

          Tell that to those retards I went to high school with who bragged one day “I want to rip that thing off” when referring to a John Kerry sticker on some soul’s car and declared that Clinton was the “worst president” and that Bushy Tushy was the “greatest”!


          1. Both George Bush Jr & Bill Clinton were useless.

          One was a complete dickhead (George Bush Jr) and the other (Bill Clinton) was preoccupied with getting his dick’s head into as many holes as possible. 🙁

          2. As for John ‘I Actually Did Vote for the $87 Billion, Before I voted Against It‘ Kerry, somebody please teach the stupid SOB how to communicate.

          3. Ramadasa, we think you ought to give the Presidency a shot.

          Throw your hat in the ring on behalf of the Garlic Naan party. 😉

  2. Aswin_Kini   August 24, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Were there any human casualties?????? Any major loss of property?

    I hope not.

    It’s strange to see so many earthquakes happening all over the globe, this year.

    Glad to know that most you there were safe! Take care. Responds:

    No loss of life but there was some damage to buildings here and there.

    This quake was notable for its incongruity: it was one of the most powerful to hit the East Coast in decades, and yet it caused little damage. Reports of tremors came from as far north as Sudbury, Ontario, where government offices were closed, and as far south as Alabama.
    New York Times

  3. Aswin_Kini   August 24, 2011 at 8:39 am

    By the way, how far is Yellowstone Park from your state????

    Just asking this for a reason Responds:

    Roughly the distance from Madras to Delhi and back from Delhi to Vijaywada.

    About 3,600 KM to the West.

    • முனிAndy   August 24, 2011 at 11:26 am

      It’s an awesome (Taj Mahal grade awesome) place.. have you been there, SI? If not, it should be on your bucket list. Verizon works there, but ATT didn’t.. so you may want to switch carriers if you want to blog from there while riding a grizzly bear. Not that type of “ride” that your dirty mind is thinking of, but this kind.. Responds:

      You write: It’s an awesome (Taj Mahal grade awesome) place..

      Rumor has it that SI gave even Taj Mahal the pass.

      SI’s fecund, febrile, fearless, fermented mind works in mysterious ways. 😉

      • முனிAndy   August 24, 2011 at 4:02 pm

        That’s a sin you cannot wash away by watching 1000 Korean films.. get your ass mind out of your couch and be a Ulagam Suttrum Kizhavan/Kizhavi. Responds:

        Too late for gallivanting around the globe now. Hey, these are our autumn years!

  4. Aswin_Kini   August 24, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Some food for thought Responds:

    Even there’s a big volcanic eruption, as some fear in your link, it might not affect us much immediately.

    But food prices would shoot through the roof and it’d probably get a lot colder.

  5. boopalanj   August 24, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Yes, My friend immediately dropped an sms to me! “Earthquake”. Philadelphia was also hit (that is where she is.)

    I felt one in Chennai last year. It lasted for around 10 – 15 seconds. Mild shake as if feeling dizzy. [ ]

    Even two weeks ago when was on a bridge, I felt the car shaking. But was not sure if it was a tremor, or the bridge built by Karuna!! Responds:

    This one was real powerful. We felt the house sway.

    People would have felt a quake more here because houses and buildings are made of wood and less robust compared to the brick and mortar/cement buildings in India.

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