WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - Monday marks 10 years since a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck the D.C. region, damaging the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral.
The 2011 quake, which was centered near Mineral, Virginia, or about 80 miles southwest of Washington, did not cause any deaths.
Repairs to the Washington Monument cost $15 million and kept the monument closed for nearly three years. The quake caused $34 million in damage to the National Cathedral.
The earthquake was felt by more people than any other earthquake recorded in United States history. It stretched as far south from Georgia all the way up to Canada.
So, could another earthquake similar to what was felt a decade ago happen again?
"There is an active seismic zone," said Thomas Pratt, a USGS geophysicist. "We are expecting there will be more earthquakes. We just don't know when and we don't know how large."
Pratt added, "We could get one tomorrow. It could be 1,000 years before we get another one. We just don't know."
The most common way you will get hurt in an earthquake is from objects falling on you. Here are some tips if an earthquake does occur:
- Stay where you are until the shaking stops. Do not run outside. Do not get in a doorway as this does not provide protection from falling or flying objects, and you may not be able to remain standing.
- Drop down onto your hands and knees so the earthquake doesn't knock you down.
- Cover your head and neck with your arms to protect yourself from falling debris.
- If you are in danger from falling objects, and you can move safely, crawl for additional cover under a sturdy desk or table.
- Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as light fixtures or furniture.
- Hold on to any sturdy covering so you can move with it until the shaking stops. Stay where you are until the shaking stops.
- If you are in bed, stay there and Cover your head and neck with a pillow. At night, hazards and debris are difficult to see and avoid; attempts to move in the dark result in more injuries than remaining in bed.
- If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires. Once in the open, "Drop, Cover, and Hold On." Stay there until the shaking stops. This might not be possible in a city, so you may need to duck inside a building to avoid falling debris.
- If you are in a moving vehicle, stop as quickly and safely as possible and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires. Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that the earthquake may have damaged.