AN EARTHQUAKE has rattled Dover in Delaware on east coast of the USA with people in Philadelphia, Washington and New York reporting shaking.
Magnitude 5.1 earthquake hits east coast of USA
The earthquake rattled Philadelphia and registered a magnitude of 4.6, according to earthquake detector website CSEM-EMSC. It was earlier recorded at 5.1.Citizens from major cities including Philadelphia, New York, Washington DC, Baltimore and Atlantic City recorded shaking.
The quake hit Dover in Delaware, about 50 miles from Philadelphia at around 4.47pm local time (9.47pm GMT) yesterday. It hit at a shallow depth of less than five miles.
The whole house was shaking
Testimonies flooded in to CSEM EMSC from civilians shaken up by the earthquake.CSEM-EMSC estimated 20 million people live in the ‘felt area’, where shaking was felt in the earthquake.
One person in Bridgeton said: “The whole house was shaking.”
An earthquake has rattled the east coast of America
Another person in Middletown said: “It felt and sounded like very deep thunder. It was scary to say the least.”A third in Broomall said: “Dog freaked out! We thought the wind was shaking the house but then realized there was no wind.
“We were feeling the shake and hearing a rumble. Lasted about 20 seconds.”
The earthquake was felt by thousands of people, many of whom sent in testimonies to CSEM
One person even said they thought “a vehicle had hit the building at first”.Many people reported their pets acting unsettled by the earthquake.
One said: “Dogs barked as soon as it started.”
Another said: “Dog freaked out! We thought the wind was shaking the house but then realised there was no wind. We were feeling the shake and hearing a rumble. Lasted about 20 seconds.”
A third said: “The dog acted weird and went outside through the doggie door. And then 5 minutes later the earthquake happened for about 10 seconds. Felt like a train was going past the house.”
The quake struck about 7 miles northeast of Dover Air Force Base at 4:47 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was originally labeled magnitude 4.4 before the USGS lowered the scale of the temblor.
The Delaware Emergency Management Agency believes the epicenter was in Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge.
“There are no reports of damage or injuries at this time,” DEMA spokesman Gary Laing said.
The USGS said it received more than 6,500 responses within an hour of the quake from people who felt the temblor throughout the Mid-Atlantic — as far south as suburban Washington, D.C., and as far north as the Poughkeepsie, New York, area.
A 3.3 magnitude earthquake hit just east of Dover in 1879, according to the Delaware Geological Survey.
An earthquake of strength that hit Thursday is considered to be moderate and generally results in little damage, the federal agency reports.
“We wouldn’t expect to have damage from an earthquake of this size,” said Paul Caruso, a USGS geophysicist based in Golden, Colorado. “We know from the past, even when we have quakes above magnitude 3 on the East Coast, they’re felt pretty far away.”
Louise Carey, an owner of Carey’s Diesel in Leipsic near the earthquake’s epicenter, was in her building’s second-floor office when she heard a “boom.”
Carey and her workers ran out of the shaking diesel engine repair shop believing there had been an explosion or worse yet, a bomb had been detonated.
“The boom is what scared everyone to begin with,” she said. “I’d never experienced that loud boom and then there was like a roaring or a rumble.”
“It happened quick.”
Outside the shop, Carey said they could see the building shake. And while several items fell to the ground, nothing was damaged – this includes the boats in their boatyard a couple of blocks away.
“Everything was OK.”
“I’m 74-year-old and believe me, it scared me,” she said, adding this was the third quake she’d been in, including the 2011 tremor and one in Latin America. “And I don’t care to be in another one.”
Jana Pursley, also a geophysicist with the USGS, said earthquakes can happen anywhere at anytime. Within the tectonic plates “intraplate earthquakes” are stresses within the plate that are less frequent than fault line earthquakes — where two plates meet.
Pursley explained that the audible rumbling is the vibrations the human ear can detect.
“Earthquakes are just vibrations,” Pursley said. “They are just like loudspeakers when they vibrate.”
Shallow quakes usually have a sharp bang, she added, and a deeper one has a rolling rumble. Thursday’s earthquake center was at a depth of about 5 miles.
In downtown Dover, people streamed out of buildings minutes after the quake, most looking for the source of the disturbance.
“I was in the library when I felt the shaking,” said Rick Kozakowski of Dover. “I knew it was either an earthquake or Godzilla.”
Angie Coulter was sitting on her couch in Dover when she said she heard a noise like a train crash.
“We live by the railroad, so I just thought it was an accident,” Coulter said.
She felt the floor start to shake for less than 30 seconds. Immediately, Coulter said, she thought something was happening below the house.
“I thought the house was going to collapse, and then it stopped,” Coulter said.
Kay Sass, public affairs and emergency management coordinator for Dover, said the earthquake shook the building and “we felt it pretty well at City Hall.”
She said there were no reports of damage and no interruption of services in the city.
“We first had to figure out what it was and then we checked to make sure the building was OK,” she said.
The quake struck just as Dover residents were preparing the city’s Capitol Holiday Celebration and tree lighting, an event Mayor Robin Christiansen said “started with a bang.”
“I was at my brother-in-law’s house and at first I thought his heater blew up because the whole house shook,” said Debby Messina. “We went outside to see if a plane crashed and all of his neighbors were outside too.”
A member of Dover Air Force Base Public Affairs said there were no injuries, no significant damage to government property and no interruptions to anything out there. “No change in operations.”
Laing said residents should only call 911 to report damage or injuries and urged people not to tie up emergency lines to ask if an earthquake occurred.
Dover Police Department spokesman Cpl. Mark Hoffman said his agency has fielded many calls from city residents asking what the tremor was, some he described as “panicked.”
He said the police department has not received any reports of damage or injuries.
While fixing a guitar on the third floor of his house on Wilmington’s North Franklin Street, Rob Pfeiffer suddenly heard wine bottles shaking and he knew.
“I lived in L.A. on the San Andres fault, so I immediately knew it was an earthquake,” he said.
In Ocean View along Delaware’s coast, the sensation was just as intense. Carole Verona was startled from reading Facebook and a book in her living room on the top floor of her stilt house.
“It felt like someone was downstairs shaking the pilings for 20 seconds,” she said. “The ornaments on our (Christmas) tree rattled a little bit. (We thought), ‘Oh no, our pilings are going to slide into the lagoon.’ “
Tom Harmon of Smyrna was on his way to pick up his wife Mary from Wesley College’s Johnston Hall when the quake struck, a rumble he initially mistook for someone getting too close to his bumper.
“We thought an elevator crashed,” Mary said. “I called security and they said they thought it was an earthquake so I was actually relieved.”
Thursday’s quake was the second to hit the Mid-Atlantic in less than 10 years. A 5.8-magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia shook homes throughout the Mid-Atlantic on Aug. 23, 2011.
“This one felt a lot different,” Messina said. “That one felt like I had vertigo. This one shook everything.”
Lois LaMarche, who has lived in the Sherwood neighborhood of Dover for 43 years, agreed that this earthquake was different.
“That was just a little rumble,” she said. “There was no comparison.”
John Grooby and his wife, tourists from England visiting their son, said they missed the whole thing.
“We were in the car heading to the tree lighting,” he said. “We didn’t find out about it at all until we heard people talking about it. I guess we missed the excitement.”
The story will be updated as more information becomes available.
Staff writers Esteban Parra, Jerry Smith, Josephine Peterson and Jeremy Cox contributed to this report.
In March 2015, the junior Senator from Arkansas ― Tom Cotton ― was derided for writing a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader in the midst of sensitive negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, warning that any deal with Iran could be revoked by the next U.S. President “with the stroke of a pen.” The letter, signed by 46 of his colleagues, was unprecedented, helping to blur the lines between partisan politics and serious national security matters and potentially delivering a fatal blow to the notion that politics stops at the water’s edge. It provoked a strong outcry, with many casting the letter as traitorous and Cotton as in over his head. Few could imagine, however, that by today Cotton would be poised to become the next potential director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) under a President even more committed to laying waste to the norms of Washington, Donald Trump.
Pompeo and Cotton are close ideological allies on foreign policy, having worked closely to undermine President Obama’s negotiations and later prevent the Iran nuclear deal from surviving Congressional review. In 2014, the two spoke to reporters on the Iran negotiations, with Cotton saying “I hope that Congress’ role will be to put an end to these negotiations.” If there was any doubt what their alternative to negotiations was, Pompeo clarified “In an unclassified setting, it is under 2,000 sorties to destroy the Iranian nuclear capacity. This is not an insurmountable task for the coalition forces.”
Time did little to sober Cotton and Pompeo’s hawkishness on Iran. After the nuclear deal had been finalized that summer, Cotton and Pompeo traveled to Vienna to review the International Atomic Energy Agency’s plan to finalize its long-running investigation into prior, possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program. While such plans are routinely kept confidential in order to ensure that the inspected state’s security is not in any way compromised, the pair of hawks spun that technical plan into a nefarious, “secret side deal” they alleged the administration was withholding from the American public. Nothing could be further from the truth, but Cotton and Pompeo used their hyping of the facts to further their campaign against the deal.
Cotton downplayed military action against Iran again in August of 2015, stating “I don’t think any military expert in the United States or elsewhere would say the U.S. military is not capable to setting Iran’s nuclear facilities back to day zero.” Of course, there is a difference between capabilities and what is in the national interest, and many have warned that Iran could quickly reconstitute its program after bombing and move quickly toward a nuclear weapon. Cotton seemed to have recognized this, though the notion of repeatedly bombing Iran – known in hawkish circles as “mowing the lawn” ― did not seem to bother him. “Can we eliminate it (Iran’s nuclear program) forever? No, because any advanced industrialized country can develop nuclear weapons in four to seven years, from zero. But we can set them back to day zero.”
Add to this atrocious track record several other notable efforts from the duo to undermine the Iran nuclear deal during the Trump administration. Pompeo’s last tweet prior to being nominated as CIA Director declared “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.” Pompeo vowed in his confirmation as CIA Director to halt his political efforts to sabotage the deal, which he later backtracked on. In his confirmation, he vowed “While as a Member of Congress I opposed the Iran deal, if confirmed, my role will change. It will be to drive the Agency to aggressively pursue collection operations and ensure analysts have the time, political space, and resources to make objective and methodologically sound judgments.”
But once on the job, Pompeo made it his pet project to release documents to a hawkish Washington organization in an effort to tie Iran to al-Qaeda, quite literally copying the playbook for the Iraq War. Pompeo also emerged as one of the prime voices urging the President to make the political decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal. As reported by Foreign Policy in July, “Although most of Trump’s deputies endorsed certifying that Iran was abiding by the deal, one senior figure has emerged in favor of a more aggressive approach — CIA Director Mike Pompeo. At White House deliberations, the former lawmaker opposed certifying Iran while suggesting Congress weigh in on the issue, officials and sources close to the administration said.” Given that the IAEA has routinely certified Iran’s compliance, such a position was far from Pompeo’s vow that his role would change ― he was still trying to kill the deal, though this time not in Congress, but at the President’s ear.
Who else joined Pompeo’s efforts to push Trump into killing the deal? None other than his pal Tom Cotton, who laid out the case for withholding certification in July in a letter with three of his colleagues. Of course, that letter was full of falsehoods, but that’s par for the course for the man who may be Trump’s next CIA Director. Like his colleague Pompeo, there is little reason to expect Cotton to drop his Iran campaign once he earns a place in the administration.
What of the man that Pompeo would replace, Rex Tillerson? It is indisputable that Tillerson has been a disaster on many fronts, in particular, his campaign to gut the State Department which will do untold damage to American diplomacy for years to come. Yet, on the Iran nuclear deal, Tillerson has actually allied with Secretary of Defense James Mattis to urge Trump against ripping up the deal. The loss of Tillerson, combined with Cotton’s elevation, would mean that Pompeo and Cotton could face little resistance in their campaign to unravel a nuclear accord that is working and downplay the likely alternative ― war.
It’s possible that the reporting is inaccurate and that Cotton will not be elevated to Pompeo’s current position. But if it is, the Trump administration will be a giant step closer towards killing the nuclear deal and taking the US into yet another war of choice in the Middle East. Unless, of course, the American public ― including Trump’s own base ― massively rallies against such folly.