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Earthquake Originating in Virginia Shakes the East


This earthquake came in as a magnitude 3.2 on the Richter scale. It occurred 7 miles west southwest of Powhatan, Virginia. It was relatively small, but felt over a pretty large area. The ground shaking lasted up to 80 seconds in some areas.

This earthquake was pretty typical….

"Just a normal earthquake, somewhat near the James River, somewhere between Charlottesville and Richmond, they pretty much happen all the time," commented David Spears, State Geologist for Virginia.

"Earthquakes in the range of 2.5-3.5 are roughly annual."

This earthquake didn't do any damage and wasn't that strong, but was felt all over the East Coast. Locations in North Carolina and as far north as New Jersey and Delaware reported feeling the Earthquake.

"This was a relatively small earthquake but it was felt over a relatively large area. A magnitude 3.2 earthquake in California would be felt in one or two zip codes," mentions Spears.

The rock over Virginia is much older and has scarred, making any vibrations travel a further distance. West Coast faults are still active, so earthquakes travel short distances.

As far as whether or not this was an aftershock of 2011, we'll let the geologist answer that:

"In my opinion this was not an aftershock of the 2011 earthquake, and the reason I say that is most of what we've been defining as the aftershock from the 2011 earthquake, and their still continuing even three years later, are centralized in a very small area; maybe a ten mile radius."

We see these kinds of earthquakes every couple of years and they usually don't do any damage, but it can happen. The largest damaging earthquake was that 5.8 magnitude in 2011 that caused a reported two hundred million dollars in damage.


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