Earthquake?

Apparently there’s been a ca 5.9 magnitude earthquake in northern Virginia about 30 miles east of Charlottesville. The earthquake was shallow so it’s effects were felt widely. It is reported that buildings in NY City were evacuated, as well as the Pentagon. The USGS page is here.

Comments

  1. #1 Dave GIll
    August 23, 2011

    Felt widely in NE Ohio

  2. #2 Physicalist
    August 23, 2011

    Definitely felt it in Boston.

  3. #3 rob
    August 23, 2011

    i think they downgraded it to 5.8 on the scale. apparently it is a record for the area.

    but why did it happen? tetonics? NO.

    god is displeased with the right wing wackos!

    can’t wait to see how the wackos explain it. :)

  4. #4 daedalus4u
    August 23, 2011

    I felt it in Needham, MA.

  5. #5 Joshua Zelinsky
    August 23, 2011

    In Boston also but I didn’t feel anything.

  6. #6 Charles Sullivan
    August 23, 2011

    Felt it on the west coast. Just kidding.

  7. #7 Dave W.
    August 23, 2011

    I was about 50 miles from the epicenter when the quake hit. Having never felt an earthquake before at all (even though twos aren’t uncommon in the area), it was pretty intense. No damage where I was, though an ambulance at a neighboring building suggests someone had some sort of issue.

    I live another 20 miles away from the epicenter, and my local supermarket had stock falling off the shelves, I was told.

    My biggest worry is the Lake Anna nuke plant (perhaps 10 miles from the epicenter). If the NRC imposes a 50-mile exclusion zone around it, I won’t be able to go to work.

    My wife was in Tokyo last March when the big one hit there. While I can now say I’ve experienced an earthquake, she had to cope with dozens of aftershocks and massive public transportation disruptions, so she’s still the big “winner” when it comes to living through this sort of thing.

  8. #8 Raging Bee
    August 23, 2011

    I’m hearing conflicing information about that reactor. Did they shut it down, or was there no need for any change because American nuclear power companies are always on top of whatever happens?

    Or is this just another case of nuclear power executives blithering out of both ends of their asses? I really hope we don’t have to hear that lot changing their story any time soon…

  9. #9 Lassi Hippeläinen
    August 24, 2011

    Has a tsunami flooded the auxiliary diesels of the reactor? If not, comparisons to Fukushima are moot.

  10. #10 Raging Bee
    August 24, 2011

    Actually, they’re not totally moot, since it’s recently been admitted that more damage to Fukushima was caused by the earthquake (not the tsunami) than had been previously stated.

    Also, my point was about the chronic dishonesty of nuclear-power executives and loobyists, not any similarity between these two incidents.

  11. #11 Eric Lund
    August 24, 2011

    @Raging Bee: I haven’t heard anything regarding Lake Anna other than that they shut down the plant and activated the backup generators due to losing their external cooling power connection. That much is (or should be) standard operating procedure.

    The earthquake was felt at some other nuclear power plants, including the one down the road from me in Seabrook, NH, but the shaking was not severe enough to warrant a shutdown, in the opinion of the people operating the plants. I have no evidence for or against the proposition that this was the correct thing to do.

    It may be that your confusion arises from hearing reports regarding different nuclear plants.

  12. #12 Mark Duigon
    August 26, 2011

    I felt it in southern Pennsylvania, and went to the USGS Web page to see if there was another of those magnitude 2 quakes nearby. I was quite surprised to see a box indicating a nearly 6 magnitude quake in Virginia. I then looked at a list of recent quakes but didn’t see it; by the time I got through sending my “Did you feel something?” response and checked again, there were about 2500 responses.

    Next day at a hydraulic fracturing seminar, someone raised the question of whether injecting slick water could have lubricated one of the faults seen on a cross section and have caused the quake. (Rather unlikely, considering the geology.)