August 23, 2011

Below is a tracking page of the reported effects of the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Virginia & D.C. today.

Earthquake map shows epicenter in central Virginia

The yellow glow represents the area where potential damage is deemed “light” and perceived shaking is “moderate.”

Virginia Nuclear Plant Loses Power After Quake

Wall Street Journal
August 23, 2011

A nuclear power plant in central Virginia has lost offsite power in the wake of a 5.8 earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., U.S. nuclear officials said.

The North Anna Power Station, which has two nuclear reactors, is now using four diesel generators to maintain cooling operations. The plant automatically shut down in the wake of the earthquake.

5.8 Earthquake Causes Frantic Evacuation From Pentagon

Fox News
August 23, 2011

The Pentagon was evacuated early Tuesday afternoon moments after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake out of Mineral, Va. shook reinforced concrete walls of the building, sending panicked workers running for the exits.

Some of the nearly 20,000 people who work at the Pentagon every day feared the shaking was caused by another Sep. 11 style attack.

D.C. earthquake forces White House evacuation

The State Column
August 23, 2011

A rare East Coast earthquake forced evacuations of the White House and the Pentagon on Tuesday, forcing thousands to flood the streets of downtown Washington and various cities in Virginia.

Alarms sounded in the FBI and Department of Justice buildings, and some flooding was reported on an upper floor of the Pentagon as a result of the quake.

Washington Monument may be tilting from quake jolt

Washington Times
August 23, 2011

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly reported at 2:30 pm that their bureau received information from a producer saying that a Captiol Hill Police officer was saying the Washington Monument may actually be tilting as a result of the earthquake.

Seismologist John Rundle joined Kelly on her show and confirmed that the Washington Monument could very well be tilting as a result of the earthquake and the structure should be checked out.


Shakes Eastern US

Wall Street Journal
August 23, 2011

An earthquake just hit Virginia, and the tremors were felt all the way up here in Manhattan, where markets were a little shaken, too.

The quake’s epicenter was in Mineral, Virginia, southwest of DC, in the middle of Virginia. The magnitude was 5.9, according to USGS — they upgraded that from an initial reading of 5.8.

Apparently there were tremors felt as far away as Martha’s Vineyard, Detroit and parts of Ohio. That’s a really wide area of impact for a relatively small quake.

East Coast Quake Reportedly Felt In Chicago

CBS Chicago
August 23, 2011

CHICAGO (CBS) — The 5.9 magnitude earthquake that rattled the East Coast on Tuesday may have been felt here in Chicago.

Immediately after the quake hit in Virginia, several people in the northern suburbs, including Evanston, Skokie and Deerfield, reported feeling mild shaking in their offices.

Felt from Toronto to Atlanta

August 23, 2011

(Reuters) – A strong earthquake struck the East Coast and was felt as far away as Canada on Tuesday, shaking buildings in many cities, delaying flights and trains and sending thousands of frightened workers into the streets.

There were no reports of major damage or injuries from the 5.9 magnitude quake, which the U.S. Geological Survey said was centered in Mineral, Virginia, at a very shallow depth of 0.6 mile.

Why are East Coast earthquakes so widely felt?

CBS News
August 23, 2011


For those of us whose knowledge of earthquakes is based on reports from seismically-active regions like California and recently-devastated Japan, it seems like a paradox. In those regions, a quake felt so far from its epicenter would likely have been catastrophic — a 7- or 8-magnitude that caused massive damage and loss of life.

There is a geological explanation. The Earth’s crust beneath the Easter U.S. is older and harder than out West. It has fewer fault lines and far less seismically active — but when earthquakes do hit, that hard ground is far more effective and conducting the seismic waves.

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