Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Unusual Earthquake Shakes East Coast

BROCKTON--The United States Geological Survey said an earthquake centered near Mineral, Virginia was felt more than 500 miles away in Boston and as far away north as Ontario, Canada, and south to Alabama.
The United States Geological Survey said the quake struck at 1:51 p.m. The strongest quake measured 5.8 and lasted 20 to 30 seconds, and was felt the most in Virginia, including Washington D.C., where several national monuments were cracked.
Survey officials reported two small aftershocks, of magnitude 2.8 and 2.2, within 90 minutes of the original jolt.
Buildings in Boston and up and down the East Coast were evacuated and many people were shocked at the sudden rumbling of the earth that, to some in Brockton, felt like a commuter train rushing through.
Cities and towns north and south of Boston reported rumbling and shaking for about 10seconds.
Media reports say it is the first time in nearly 100 years Boston and the surrounding area has felt an earthquake rumble through the area.
According to the USGS, historically 19 earthquakes of intensity V or greater, have centered in Massachusetts--unlike yesterday's rattling, which began in Virginia and sent seismic waves more than 1,000 miles away.
A shock in 1755 reached intensity VIII at Boston and was felt across the state.
In addition, Massachusetts was affected by some of the more severe Canadian shocks plus the earthquake of 1929 that centered on Grand Banks of Newfoundland.
The residents of Nantucket Island were jolted by a moderate earthquake on October 24, 1965.
Very slight damage, mostly to ornaments, was reported. Doors, windows, and dishes rattled, and house timbers creaked.

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