Earthquake shakes up Washington


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A seismograph, which is used to detect the duration and force of an earthquake.

On Tuesday, October 15, 2019, at 2:58 in the morning, there was an earthquake reported southwest of Washington, Pennsylvania.

 The earthquake was not major or anything to be afraid of. It had a magnitude tremor of 2.2. Earthquakes with the range of 2.5 or less are usually not felt but can be reported with a seismograph, which is an instrument used to detect earthquakes based on their force and duration.

Washington’s fault line is one of the causes for the earthquake. In Geology, a fault is a fracture or discontinuity in the planet’s surface, along which movement and displacement takes place. On Earth, they are the result of activity with plate tectonics. Energy released by the rapid movement on active faults is what causes most earthquakes today. 

Even though Pennsylvania’s fault lines are smaller than western states, the state of Pennsylvania has more earthquakes than people would think. This year alone, there have been seven earthquakes that have occurred in Pennsylvania. 

Nine reports were made by residents on Tuesday morning who experienced the earthquake. They claimed to feel some shaking and rattling in their house at night. 

Sophomore Grace Roberts was asleep in her bed when the earthquake occurred.

“I never felt one thing during the time of the earthquake and just continued to sleep,” Roberts said.

Earthquakes are something that people may not always be prepared for and can be very serious if it’s above the 2.5 mark.

 Roberts read an article about an earthquake that happened in Syria and said, “it was really scary, there were cars getting smashed and everything was completely destroyed.” 

Sophomore Lucas McCue was also aware of the earthquake that happened. He was in downtown Pittsburgh when it occurred.

McCue believes a stronger earthquake could potentially happen in Washington.

McCue said,  “yes, Washington is on a fault line which makes us prone to one.”

Security guard Ms. Haught was also aware of the earthquake but was luckily not in town to experience it. She’s never experienced an earthquake before but she once was in the middle of a hurricane during a vacation in Maryland.

“It was scary. The wind was blowing strong, and there were trees falling down everywhere,” said Haught. 

Haught also believes there could be a stronger earthquake to happen in Washington because anything can happen anywhere.

Earthquakes are, overall, a natural disaster that can be very scary depending on the severity. Luckily, the town of Washington was out of harm’s way.