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stinky_gardener

We just had an earthquake!

12 years ago

Not a very big one, obviously, or I wouldn't be typing this, lol! First earthquake I have ever experienced though! It was weird. The house felt like it was swaying back & forth!

All is well...those of you with friends/family in VA may want to check on them!

Comments (35)

  • 12 years ago

    Wow! Hope everyone's all right. There was one in Colorado today too, another unusual place to have one. Earthquakes are a weird experience, especially because there's no warning!

    Earthquakes didn't scare me much until I experienced a pretty big one. Now, years later, my heart starts pounding even when there's a little one.

  • 12 years ago

    Goof grief! I watch Fox News between 1pm and 3, and they're having good coverage.

    OK. had a "big" one (LOL) last year and it actually did damage to homes.

    Crazy year.

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  • 12 years ago

    Thanks for your replies, Nancy & Oakley. While it wasn't huge as earthquakes go, it was rather unsettling to experience one here in VA! As I said, it was my first experience of one. I'm home alone & I thought, "What just happened?" Didn't occur to me that it was an earthquake! Checked my e-mail & saw the Washington Post reported a 5.9 quake hit central VA & the Pentagon was evacuated.

  • 12 years ago

    We felt it here near Philadelphia. I was driving over the Burlington Bristol Bridge from PA coming into NJ and couldn't figure out why my car felt like it was being buffeted by winds. It wasn't windy. It was over quickly and then when I turned on the radio I heard what had happened.

  • 12 years ago

    Yikes, SG! I've felt small ones in CA, but the freakiest was one in Chicago. The highrise swayed, toilet water sloshed while watching 60 Minutes one year. DH and I looked at each other in amazement.

    On another note, hope Irene is much weaker by the time it reaches you. Depending on the projected path, I may head on out in advance of its Friday's expected pass near our area. I've lived through Betsy as a child, my family lost our wkend home with Camille, and although DH & I had moved a couple of years before Katrina, our family was very much affected with total loss of my parents' home containing some priceless possessions like my father's paintings and up to 6 generations of family photos and history. Still, as hard as that was/is, it's just transient material things. Most sadly, one of my elderly aunts died shortly thereafter, her death hastened as a result of being stuck on the tarmac once evacuated from her nursing home. I have a healthy respect for the sometimes awesome power of nature. First drop of rain from a hurricane, I considering evacuating to avoid being stuck in gridlock. I have insurance for things, but life is irreplaceable. Besides, even if the storm does not damage the house or directly hit the area, you are often w/o power for several days at least. Hope for the best this season for everyone!

  • 12 years ago

    5.9 isn't that small! It would definitely be unsettling, to say the least!

    I was worried about that hurricane approaching too. I've never experienced anything like that.

  • 12 years ago

    It was VERY unsettling here in Chapel Hill, NC. Whole house shook. No damage...but weird. And now a hurricane headed our way...I stocked up on batteries!

  • 12 years ago

    I'm 50 miles away from the epicenter. I ran outside, not sure what was going to happen to my house or the large tree that towers over it. It seemed to go on for a long time. No damage to my house that I can see, but neighbors had books falling off shelves.

  • 12 years ago

    Maire, so glad you made it over the bridge through the turbulence! Scary!

    Abundantblessings, thanks for your reply. It's hard to say for sure, but it looks like Irene will miss you, head to NC, then hit the Jersey Shore. However you're smart to take precautions, as these weather events can be so unpredictable. Yes, mother nature is awesome! Wishing you well!

    Nancy,indeed, we're in hurricane alley! Even the turbulent Nor'easters that strike here often can do a lot of damage.

    Mjsee, yes, it was so strange! I saw that Irene is supposed to touch down in NC, but you may be far enough inland to escape the worst of it. I'll be thinking of you. Who knows, it may skip over NC & head our way! These storms can be hard to track accurately.

    Graywings, wow! Glad you sustained no damage to person or property.

  • 12 years ago

    I didn't feel it, but my husband, 10 miles closer to the coast & the epicenter, said his building swayed a bit. We're in SW Connecticut.

  • 12 years ago

    Talked to a friend on Long Island and she said they felt it there.

  • 12 years ago

    I just walked got in the door and turned on the TV. Heard all this talk about earthquake. Earthquake? What earthquake, I didn't feel an earthquake, must be down south. So I went on Facebook and discovered it wasn't on the west coast at all but back east! Holy cow. No wonder I didn't feel it, LOL. Not only is 5.9 a good size tremor, it can be even more dangerous in areas of the country where structures aren't built to earthquake code. Hope everyone is OK.

  • 12 years ago

    Be prepared for possible aftershocks. They'll be smaller in magnitude but the larger the initial quake the larger the aftershock. Each one less than the one before. Might not want to put breakables back on the shelf until those have passed.

  • 12 years ago

    Yep, it was something here. One of the dogs barked and then I felt something-thought at first the dogs were galloping up and down the stairs, but then the whole floor shook. No damage-pictures fell and stuff slipped a little, but nothing major.

    The National Cathedral suffered damage, but I haven't heard how much and a pipe burst and flooded the Pentagon. Also, the two nuclear reactors at Lake Anna tripped, but the generators still worked, so everything could continue to be cooled.

    I think it is crazy the way the news around here has been about nothing else for the last several hours and probably will continue bathering on about it for the next several hours. Silly. They even covered Mayor Bloomberg saying that everything was basically fine.

    Haven't heard that anyone was injured, so it is a little exciting since I had never felt one before. At first,after I realized it wasn't the dogs (ha),I thought the tree my husband is refusing to take down fell on the house! All in all, an interesting afternoon.

    Now, if the hurricane hits us next week, let's hope the leaning tree survives. I am staying away from that side of the house as much as possible-lol!

  • 12 years ago

    DS1 and DIL are in Lexington VA...they said the bldg shook a little but that was all. DD is in Atlanta and they really felt it there at her place of work...weird how it was stronger farther away....We were trying to call DD at the exact moment of the earthquake and got a weird message that there was no service. Then we turn on the news and find out it was the earthquake that stopped cells for a minute or two.

    We had one here in AL a few years ago...all the doors rattled and we couldn't figure it out LOL. Never expected one in AL.

    Glad everyone is OK. Some believe there is an " earthquake " machine and that these are planned episodes...Haiti and Japan as examples and CO in the same day as this one on the East coast. Co-incidence ???

  • 12 years ago

    Felt it here too, over 200 miles from the epicenter. Was unloading DD's cooler from her vacation. The house starting shaking and panic set in. Thought we had some structural issues as we were flooded out on the 14th, but quickly learned that the shaking was caused by the effects of the earthquake. Scary.

    As for Irene, I hope it takes a track further out into the ocean than is predicted. We are just getting our home and property back together from the storm last Sunday. Any significant rain will put us back to square one, UGH. Fingers, toes and everything possible crossed.

    I feel badly for the gal who colors my hair. She and her family are taking their first vacation to the Outer Banks this week and with Ocracoke being evacuated as of 5 a.m. tomorrow, it is only matter of time before they start evacuating all of Hatteras Island.

    What is with all of this weather (storms and lots of rain) this summer?

    Praying for all who are in the predicted path of Irene!

  • 12 years ago

    my son felt it, but i didn't--lol!! oh well! (we were both home in eastern pa!)

  • 12 years ago

    I felt it here in Alexandria, VA (suburb outside DC). I was home on sick leave & dozing on the couch and it woke me. The walls were literally shaking; I'd never seen anything like it, and was concerned that the older parts of my house (built before 1920) might not be able to withstand it. Things fell off shelves, and a few pictures fell off the walls, but there was no real damage (the tv almost fell down but didn't). I vaguely remembered hearing that secure doorways are relatively safe if there's nothing in the room to get under, so I stood in the doorway until it passed. That was my first--and hopefully last --- earthquake.

  • 12 years ago

    We are at our beach house in RI and we felt it at the beach! It was so weird. We were sitting there in our beach chairs and I felt like my chair was moving in the sand. DH looked at me and said "Do you feel that?" And the people sitting next to us asked if we felt something. It was clear that not everyone noticed, but we did. Very strange!

  • 12 years ago

    Definitely felt it here outside of Philadelphia. First thought was that the washer was unbalanced, but I wasn't doing laundry. Also kind of felt like a huge wind and like the house was doing the "wave". Strange sensation. No damage around here except being bored to death by the newscasters.

  • 12 years ago

    8:05 PM - first aftershock that I have noticed.

  • 12 years ago

    I'm glad you noticed it also! I thought I was imagining that the drop down lid of the secretary was shaking as I read this thread :-)

    I was at the office which is directly under the BWI landing approach when the EQ happened. We all thought a plane had crashed. No damage at home, but I did notice that all the pix on outside walls were crooked and that the cuckoo clock had stopped at 1:50...weird!

  • 12 years ago

    I was in the basement painting when the house started shaking hard- it rattled and squeaked- at first I also thought something hit the house,and went out the basement door- both dogs standing and looking down at me.

    I am just outside the Baltimore city limits on the southwest side- about 40 minutes away from you graywings.
    The mirror over the fireplace was very crooked, and I just now noticed new cracks in our plaster walls by the fireplace- I had heard on our listserv about cracks in other neighbors houses- the houses were built in the 20s. The lamps on the mantle highlighted them.
    I guess it just gives the old girl more character!
    It was very unsettling- quite strong- and these houses aren't built for this- I think there was damage to the church near us- WBAL news choppers were flying over our area apparently doing a story on damage to the church.

  • 12 years ago

    The USGS has a neat earthquake website, you can see all the earthquakes that have occurred worldwide or in the US. They're actually quite frequent, and of course, a vast majority occur on the west coast (or the Ring of Fire as it's called due to the great number of volcanos). Most earthquakes occur in unoccupied areas, or are too deep or too small to feel. But when a good shaker hits, and it's in an area that usually doesn't get them, it certainly will wake you up!

    Here is a link that might be useful: earthquake list

  • 12 years ago

    I was working as an election officer for the primary elections we had in Virginia today. We were in the school library, heard some rumbling noise first, then the bookshelves began to shake. A few minutes later, the principal got on the PA system and said, "for those of you not from California, that was an earthquake, folks."
    Then the election officers talked about what our emergency evacuation procedures should be (we should have determined them earlier, but the instructions listed only things like hurricanes, chemical spills, and such, not earthquakes, so that wasn't on our radar). We didn't have to evacuate, but some other precincts did, and they conducted their election out of doors. Thank heavens it was a warm, sunny day.

  • 12 years ago

    My first thought was what an odd area for an earthquake. Yes, we had one in CO too. Which seemed a bit ironic so close in time.

    I'm 2 hours south of Denver, the quake wasn't felt in the Springs. The area where it hit was almost on the border of NM.

    Nancy, you're right, a 5.9 isn't one to ignore. I was raised in Ca and remember many that caused the worse of damage. Very interesting this quake didn't cause more damage to an area not built for them and the immense amount of historic structures.

    Graywings, what the heck with you running outside? Earthquake education...never go outside. Although I've had visitors that did the same and know your questioning of what had happened prompted such. A bit of teasing you.

  • 12 years ago

    Just heard that there are cracks in the Washington Monument as well as damage to the National Cathedral which is closed indefinitely (pinnacles fell off spires and cracks in several of the older flying buttresses).

    Thanks for the reminder about not rushing outside, emagineer! We aren't used to these things, obviously. In fact, once I was outside with neighbors and we were all commenting how it must have been an earthquake, I had a brief moment of wondering if there had been some sort of catastrophic event such as we had when the Pentagon was hit. Much prefer an earthquake!

  • 12 years ago

    I heard that if the epicenter was further north, there would have been more damage to the old buildings in DC- and here too I am sure. My house was built in 1923- earthquake what??
    we were just lucky.

    We all ran outside!

  • 12 years ago

    My husband's office (Capitol Hill) was evacuated; he walked part of the way home because the metro was moving so slowly and was jammed. Some things fell off shelves here. My daughter was climbing Old Rag Mountain in Virginia near the summit. She grabbed onto a tree!

    Very strange. I lived in California, but this was worse than any I experienced there, I suppose because it seems so foreign to this area.

  • 12 years ago

    So glad to hear that while shaken up a bit, everyone walked away unharmed!

    Yes, Emagineer, thanks for the tips! Good to know!

    Kkay, & others...yes the complete oddity of it truly added to the drama. It's been 70 years since a serious quake hit VA. Can imagine how the one that hit 7 decades ago (also a freak occurence) must have caused quite a stir, in more ways than one!

    We've discussed here on other threads that you don't need to live in tornado alley to be struck by a twister anymore. Are earthquakes going to become a more frequent occurence for east coast dwellers too?

  • 12 years ago

    Unfortunately, they may become more frequent. I hope geologists can enlighten us about that potential just due to more stresses posed by the first quake(s), but also I've always suspected that the displacement of oil leaves vacuums that create imbalances and stress within the planet. That intuitively makes a lot of sense to me.

    This morning NPR had an expert address the potential for increased earthquakes from another angle also connected with oil extraction. Scientists are now beginning to correlate the hydraulic fracking which injects high pressure water into the shale with increased earthquakes.

    If either theory has merit and there is mounting evidence that the fracking might, it is high time to develop alternatives to oil dependency. Doing so addresses our national security and economic interests, but much more importantly may be critical to the sustaining the actual structure of the earth. I'm voicing my concern about this, but really hope that we can leave partisan politics out of any discussion.

  • 12 years ago

    AB, which NPR program was that? In Arkansas there are those who think there's a correlation between fracking and all the little quakes they've experienced the past couple years. I know a lot of fracking is being done in Pennsylvania, but wasn't aware it was also happening in Virginia.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Virginia quake not as rare as it sounds

  • 12 years ago

    Hi, Natal, it was this morning's Diane Rehm's show. I reread what I wrote and should have stated associated with the oil and gas industry as many suspect the correlation lies with the W VA gas extraction taking place near the epicenter of yesterday's quake. There are oil extraction problems as well, but I mistyped.

    Long before yesterday's rumble, there have been lots of concerns raised about the gas exploration/extraction fracking. Congressional hearings are underway because of the serious water depletion associated with the practice as well as the water, soil & air pollution from fracking, not to mention uranium and several hundred other toxins involved. I'm not very confident that our government will take appropriate measures at this juncture. WY, CO, NY, W VA, VA, AL, and LA are just some other states where the alarms are being sounded. Of course, TX where this practice originated is deeply affected though long controlled by big oil & gas as is our home state, LA. Lawsuits are being filed in several states, but this is a huge problem that by and large the public is not tuned into yet. It's frightening how short term big oil and gas interests might outweigh our preservation.

  • 12 years ago

    I'm aware of the concerns regarding fracking. I just wasn't aware it was being done in Virginia. When I checked it appears the nearest location to the epicenter of the quake is about 80 miles. I think in this case that would be misplaced blame.

    I love the explanation Bill posted on HT...

    "It is being said that yesterday's East coast earthquake was caused by an unknown fault line running under D.C. and through Virginia called Obama's Fault. Obama says it's actually Bush's Fault. Some say it was the Founding Fathers rolling over in their graves. My biggest fear is that what we all believed to be an earthquake was actually a $14.6 trillion dollar check bouncing in Washington."

  • 12 years ago

    Bill may be on the right track. LOL!