East Coast quake: Some facts

  • Epicenter near Charlottesville VA, 5.9 with a depth of “more than three miles.” That’s the worst quake since 1897 in Virginia, not as bad as the 6.3 in New Zealand in February and far short of the 9.0 quake in Japan. (Each increase of a single point is an increase of about 30-fold in shaking intensity.)
  • Initial reports – minimal damage at Charlottesville and Richmond. (These links have probably updated since I posted them, so the story may have changed. Lots of buildings shaking farther away, Boston to South Carolina.
  • Epicenter near the North Anna nuclear power plant, which shut down automatically. Backup generators switched on safely. (Remember it was the failure of backup generators that accelerated the Fukushima nuclear disaster.)
  • Virginia Tech has an important seismological research site here.

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