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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Virginia Quake Felt Here In CT!


If you felt the ground shake today it was the result of an earthquake all the way from Virginia, 380 miles away!

I came into work today blissfully unaware of the earthquake. I walked out of the elevator to a flurry of activity. Shouting, running, news cut-ins…what was happening?
I caught up quickly. I had to! Luckily Geoff Fox was at work already and he briefed me on everything so I could start making graphics for the news at 4. Between the earthquake, Irene and the local forecast, I was cramming!

Now I’m calmer. Here are the details on the quake:

Magnitude: 5.8
Time: 1:51 PM
Depth: 3.7 miles
Location: 5 miles from Mineral, VA
(The location of the quake is a known area of seismic activity)

Aftershocks are likely. The earth takes a while to get back into equilibrium after an earthquake. But aftershocks are usually smaller and will likely be too small for us to feel.

This is a shake map. The USGS asks people who feel an earthquake to report it and rate the shaking on a scale of 1-10. People from Georgia up to Massachusetts felt the quake! WHY? The east coast has a harder crust than the west coast so the same amount of shaking can be felt across a larger area.

Here’s a fun fact! The earthquake scale is logarithmic. What does that mean? Well each point on the scale is 10 times the amplitude as the number before it. That means a magnitude 6.0 is ten times stronger than a 5.0. And a 7.0 is 100 times stronger than a 5.0.

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