5.8 Earthquake Centered on Mineral

An impressively strong earthquake shook up the central east coast just a few minutes ago, a 5.8 magnitude quake centered on Mineral, which is midway between Charlottesville and Richmond. Though we’ve had a few quakes of this size in the past few hundred years, it’s been a while since we’ve had one this big. We had one in 2001, a 4.5 in 2003, and a 2.7 in Nelson in late 2009, but a 5.8 is a lot stronger than any of those. The shaking was felt from North Carolina clear to New York. What was it like where you are?

5pm Update: Note that it was just in March when Dominion Power’s Lake Anna nuclear plant was named the 7th most at-risk nuclear plant, in the event of an earthquake. So what was the facility designed to withstand? “A magnitude 5.9–6.1 earthquake.” The plant’s reactors shut down automatically, but after the Fukushima nuclear plants reduced the surrounding area to a radioactive wasteland following their March earthquake, that’s not as reassuring as Dominion might think it is.

15 thoughts on “5.8 Earthquake Centered on Mineral”

  1. It felt for all of the world like the Miller Center was going to collapse. To my surprise, I figured out in perhaps a second or so what was going on, and sprinted out of the building (without, uncharacteristically, stopping to grab my phone :), pulling a puzzled co-worker with me. Plaster was shaking down from the ceiling.

    We’re sitting outside now—it’s a beautiful day, we’ve got tables and chairs outside, and I feel better knowing I’m not liable to be crushed to death out here.

  2. Waldo, I’m glad you’re ok! I hope there was no serious damage. I’m checking in with my old friends and acquaintances in CVille, and so far, it sounds like everyone’s alright. Here in Pennsylvania, a building across the street just went up in flames (we’re presuming due to a gas-line issue from the quake)…

  3. Democrats did not put an African American on the ballot. Earthquakes. Hurricanes. Just saying.

    Me, I ran for the washing machine before deciding that it had never actually SHAKEN the entire house. Was in a 7.5 in CA back in the day. Trouble holding balance.

    They say today was the same as 7.8 kilotons of TNT being set off.

  4. Avoid Main St. It’s closed to traffic–pedestrians and cars–between 9th & 10th streets because of a possible ruptured gas line.

  5. In 5th floor of a 18 story office building in Cambridge, MA across the river from Boston, felt my chair rocking for about 15 seconds.

    Have friends in C’ville – hope you and your property are all fine.

  6. I lived in Los Angeles for five years, and experienced a handful of tiny earthquakes there, but none as intense or long-lasting as the one I just felt here.

    my entire house was visibly shaking. I knew immediately what it was, and expected it to end after a few seconds; it lasted maybe 3x longer than I initially anticipated.

    Maybe it’s because I’ve never been involved in an earthquake that actually caused any injuries or property damage, but I think they’re kind of fun.

  7. And I heard a geologist on the radio mention the Ragged Mt. Reservoir saying, not likely that the dam would break, but not impossible. Sure glad they put out those dam inundation maps so folks could see who could be washed away with all the additional millions of gallons of water that will be released with a larger reservior, in fact much larger.

  8. I am not fond of these aftershocks. I was outside eating dinner when that last one rolled through, about an hour ago, and I can say that I mind them a lot less when safely outside. I don’t think I’ll sleep very well tonight.

  9. Felt it up here in the Boston area at 1 Alewife Center, Cambridge. Third floor of a wobbly building, thought it was the construction equipment outside but moved to a doorway just to be safe. Gentle 2-3 Hz shaking for about 3 seconds, quiet for about 7, then shaking again for maybe 5.

  10. My wife and I were just awoken by this 4.5. And, based on the surge of posts to Twitter, looks like a lot of other folks were just woken up by it, too. I could feel the whole house ripple, from one end to the other, as the first wave passed through the structure, making it crack and whip.

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