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The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck at 1:30 p.m.
The rumblings rattled parts of Northern Virginia - including Vienna, Falls Church, Annandale, Baileys Crossroads and Lorton - around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. People in Silver Spring and Bethesda also reported feeling the quake.
Some people called authorities to report that they could feel the ground rumbling, said Debbie Powers, deputy coordinator of the Office of Emergency Management for Arlington County.
People as far away as Niceville, Florida, 891 miles away, reported to the USGS Web site that they had felt the quake.
Reports also came in from such distant places as West Virginia, Alabama and Kansas.
People as far away as southwest Michigan and northeast Georgia e-mailed CNN to say they felt Friday's temblor
Earthquake Shakes Northern Virginia
A magnitude 1.8 earthquake occurred in northern Virginia at 1:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time. The epicenter was about 1 mile west-southwest of Annandale, VA and 13 miles west-south-west of Washington, DC. The USGS has received no reports of damage at this time.
"This earthquake is just large enough to be felt, but not large enough to cause damage," said USGS scientist Bill Leith.
The most recent earthquake recorded in the Northern Virginia area was a magnitude 2.5 earthquake near Manassas, Va., on Sept. 29, 1997.
On Feb. 23, 2005, there was a similar type event in the Baltimore metropolitan area, as a 2.1 magnitude earthquake was felt strongly and widely. There was a series of seismic events in March and April 1993, in Columbia, Maryland, ranging from 0.5 to 2.5 in magnitude.
The largest recorded earthquake centered in Virginia occurred on May 31, 1897 near Giles County. The magnitude was 5.9 and extended from Lynchburg, VA west to Bluefield, WV and from Giles County south to Bristol, TN.