I was on my lunch break yesterday and was sitting on my scooter next to Jeff, who was in the van. As we were eating and talking, we felt a weird rumble...I thought, "what's up with my scooter?" and then realized it was off. I looked up at Jeff who was looking at my hair trying to figure out why it was wasn't moving when the wind was strong enough to rock the van (or so he thought).
I sort of made a screwed-up face like '...what the -?' and his eyes said back to me: '...I dunno...' We sat there for a few minutes and finally said, "Was that an Earthquake?"
As I headed back into the building where I work, several people said, 'did you FEEL that?'
oh, yeah,....WE FELT THAT.
So apparently an Earthquake, measuring 5.9 on the Richter Scale had hit Mineral, VA, about 38 miles from Richmond, which is about 4 hours from us. Fortunately there was no damage anywhere unless you live near the epicenter.
Virginia's BIGGEST Earthquake was in Giles county, in 1897. It was especially strong at Pearisburg, where the walls of old brick houses were cracked and bricks were thrown from chimney tops. Springs were muddied and a few earth fissures appeared. Giles County was strongly shaken again on April 23, 1959. At Eggleston and Pembroke, several chimneys were damaged, plaster cracked, and pictures fell from walls (MM VI). A wide area (about 7,500 square kilometers) of southwestern Virginia felt the tremor; a few places in West Virginia also reported the shock.
Geologists say that most bedrock beneath southwestern Virginia and adjacent West Virginia was assembled as continents collided to form a supercontinent about 500-300 million years ago, raising the Appalachian Mountains. Although the seismic zone is laced with known faults, even today there are numerous smaller or deeply buried faults which remain undetected.
Well, isn't that comforting to find out since we live in that county. Giles does occasionally have little "tremors", but I didn't know about this bit of local history until yesterdays events.
Hmm...well, being on a scooter during an earthquake. Yep, that's a first for me. Hope it's the last too. ;)
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