A strong earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale has jolted different parts of mid-Atlantic regions in the U.S.
Virginia experienced one of its worst earthquakes in history as a 5.9-magnitude earthquake jolted its different parts. Even though 5.9-magnitude earthquakes are considered moderate, it is being considered as one of the worst earthquakes of Virginia since the area does not get many earthquakes. The epicenter of the earthquake was located at Louisa County and jolts were felt around a huge area surrounding the epicenter.
The strongest tremor of the earthquake lasted for 15 seconds and it took place at exactly 1:51 p.m., prompting people to get out of their homes and seek refuge under the clear skies. The jolts were quite strong initially and the earthquake was followed by several aftershocks. Even though people evacuated their homes and buildings during the earthquake, little structural damage was caused. In terms of injuries reported, there were just a few and only around one or two people had to be taken to hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
Six students and at least one staff member at Louisa County High School got injured during the quake but out of the six, only one had to be hospitalized. In addition to that, three elderly residents of Fay Towers, which is a high-rise apartment building, also were injured and had to be hospitalized for treatment.
During the earthquake, cellphone services were suspended and two nuclear reactors near the epicenter were shut down as a precaution. Thankfully, there was no damage reported and the plant resumed its operations after a while.
According to a Radford University engineering geologist, the aftershocks from the earthquake could continue for days and that they were to be expected from an earthquake of such a magnitude. A 4.2-magnitude aftershock passed through central Virginia at 8:04 p.m. After the initial aftershock, two other significant ones followed on Tuesday evening. The aftershocks measured 2.8 and 2.2 on the Richter scale and they occurred at 6:46 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. respectively.
According to Maryland officials, the biggest threat they faced was from buildings and bridges since these manmade structures are not resistant to such earthquakes. After the initial jolt, Maryland officials closed off different bridges to inspect them and only after they had made sure that these structures were safe, were people allowed to use them.