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5.8 Earthquake Hits East Coast of the US

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 years ago | from the god-punishing-congress-for-budget dept.

Earth 614

At 1:51 p.m. EDT a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit Virginia (map of reported tremors). Reports indicate it was felt along most of the east coast (my monitor and floor definitely wobbled a bit down here in Raleigh NC) with reported evacuations of government buildings at least in DC. QuantumPion noted that the North Anna Nuclear Generating Station is located only a few miles from the epicenter, and the NRC has confirmed the plant automatically shut down with no apparent damage. For folks who like that sort of thing, there is a hashtag on Twitter, and the WSJ has a page with live updates on the situation.

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Boston (1)

Altus (1034) | about 3 years ago | (#37181600)

Felt it here, third floor of a building. Nothing more here than a gentle sway back and forth 3-4 times.

Re:Boston (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181630)

About the same on 5th floor NYC, though we went back and forth probably 8-9 times.

Re:Boston (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181694)

We felt it in my office, here in Ohio, and it doesn't even have a few floors to amplify the wobble.

Re:Boston (1)

trum4n (982031) | about 3 years ago | (#37181758)

Same, Pittsburgh.

Re:Boston (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 years ago | (#37181782)

Alexandria Va, felt/sounded like loud washing machine @ first, place got a little wobbly. Didnt seem to get too bad (at least nothing in the area was damaged).

Apparently there was some serious damage out in the Tysons Corner area though.

Re:Boston (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181824)

Philly, 4th floor. We had a few books fall off of the shelf.

Re:Boston (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#37181852)

I'm guessing you're in the Back Bay. It's an old landfill, and it sloshes when the bedrock moves even a little. It's like living on a seismometer.

HOW THE HELL? (5, Funny)

The Dawn Of Time (2115350) | about 3 years ago | (#37181606)

How did this make Slashdot already? Nothing makes this site for weeks.


tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 3 years ago | (#37181684)

Global warming emergency flash!!


blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#37181872)

It was trojaned in a submission about condom thickness.

Re:HOW THE HELL? (5, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | about 3 years ago | (#37181898)

This is actually talking about a 1997 earthquake.

Felt it here - Bewildering (4, Interesting)

displague (4438) | about 3 years ago | (#37181610)

I felt it in Southern New Jersey. Everyone was dumb founded for a little while - "Whose shaking the cubicle wall?" Then everyone ended up outside with no cell service. After a few minutes we all hit the web and that was also saturated. Natural disaster practice test.

Re:Felt it here - Bewildering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181836)

I'm right near you, working from home today. My dog was barking just before everything started shaking.

Re:Felt it here - Bewildering (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 years ago | (#37181848)

Use google voice or skype to make calls, that seems a lot more reliable-- and a lot "friendlier" to the cell towers.

Felt it here in DC (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | about 3 years ago | (#37181612)

I work 3rd shift & was woken up with stuff falling from the shelves. First earthquake I actually felt.

Re:Felt it here in DC (1)

csubi (950112) | about 3 years ago | (#37181740)

Just curious : do you happen to be close to Richmond, Va? It was perceptible but nothing more here in Bethesda, MD.

I felt it in upstate New York (1)

moosehooey (953907) | about 3 years ago | (#37181616)

I was sitting at my desk and everything swayed a little bit...

Re:I felt it in upstate New York (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181834)

i was reading the bible and had the news playing on tv when the couch I was sitting in felt like it was moving. I thought my son was shaking the couch or the dog was scratching and leaning on the couch at the same time. I called my son but he was in his room and then the dog came running from the kitchen. One minute later , breaking news showed up on tv that wash dc hit by thought (hoped ) I was being moved by the words of the in Utica NY.

I've seen reports in NC and Montreal as well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181618)

This one was felt by quite a few people...

felt it in NYC (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 years ago | (#37181620)

desk started moving under my feet. not the first time so no big deal

all the chicks that work in the building here that is full of fashion and modeling companies got scared and evacuated right away

Re:felt it in NYC (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181686)

Standing on your desk isn't a great place to be during an earthquake.

Re:felt it in NYC (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 3 years ago | (#37181716)

And you didn't offer to console them or help them to ensure that none of them were injured. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?


Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181624)

Big whoop. One tiny earthquake that probably caused no damage.


Paladin114 (2438004) | about 3 years ago | (#37181676)

It's a pretty big deal for a place as tectonically stable (normally) as the mid-Atlantic region. Shook us pretty well here in Annapolis. Also caused evacs from the Capitol; even God wants them to stop spending so much money.


Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181806)

Cracked brick buildings and knocked over bookshelves here in Charlottesville, VA. Cell service is out.

A 5.8 here =/= 5.8 in Calif or Japan. The geology is different.


LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 years ago | (#37181912)

5.8 isnt tiny, and this one was felt over a rather large area.

Columbia SC Felt the quake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181632)

see subject

Chicago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181634)

I felt something over here in Chicago. Didn't know if it was an earthquake though.

No wonder (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181636)

I was wondering why my drink was moving left too right. Can anyone here who knows geology explain their reason for thinking that there may be another quake or not another quake? I am talking about a timeframe of today. NYC, shaking here felt like when you are about to faint and dizzy, a slight nudging left to right.

Re:No wonder (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181786)

Exactly how I felt. I've never felt an earthquake before, having lived in the northeast US all of my life. We shook 3-4 times in the space of a few seconds. The first 2 times I thought something was wrong with me, and by the time the 4th movement came I was looking around to see objects shaking as well. I was definitely relieved to know that I wasn't experiencing something medical, but then alarmed because I didn't know if it'd get worse or what in the next few seconds. Glad it stopped! :-)

Aftershock theory (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | about 3 years ago | (#37181862)

In a really brief format:
  • earthquakes are caused by shifting along faultlines.
  • When the faultline freezes, the stresses builds until the stresses get larger than the structural strength of the rocks making up the fault.
  • The sudden release of stress at one point on the faultline translates that energy along the faultline as the sides of the fault shift.
  • The stress shifting along the faultlines can cause either the same location to release again - aftershocks, or other sections of the fault to release - chain earthquakes.

Re:No wonder (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 3 years ago | (#37181934)

I dont think they can predict such things.

Incidentally, this WAS "another quake", as it looks like there was a 5.8 earlier today in colorado.

Pictures of Devestation (5, Funny)

pctainto (325762) | about 3 years ago | (#37181638)

Re:Pictures of Devestation (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about 3 years ago | (#37181690)

Props to you sir. I wish I had some mod points.

Re:Pictures of Devestation (1)

kryliss (72493) | about 3 years ago | (#37181784)

20% of all structures brought down!!

Re:Pictures of Devestation (1)

Casca1 (656425) | about 3 years ago | (#37181950)

Senators and Congressional reps will be filling lawsuits, and taking leave because of the injuries incurred during and after.
Soon, we will have broadcasts of devastated senators, beseeching aid from the general population for clean up from this incredible and unprecedented natural disaster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Send money now, they will say...

Felt in Vermont (1)

n1ywb (555767) | about 3 years ago | (#37181644)

Felt it here in Vermont, got our building swaying.

Re:Felt in Vermont (1)

sremick (91371) | about 3 years ago | (#37181736)

Hello to another Vermonter, felt it here too. Not all felt it though.

Re:Felt in Vermont (1)

mysqlrocks (783488) | about 3 years ago | (#37181738)

Yup—felt it here in Burlington, Vermont as well. We're on the third floor of an old mill building, so really felt the swaying back-and-forth.

Re:Felt in Vermont (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181936)

Also Burlington, didn't feel a thing...

Because of the geology (5, Informative)

wiredog (43288) | about 3 years ago | (#37181648)

Earthquakes in the eastern US are felt over a much wider area than those in the western US. It's one big plate, so an earthquake anywhere is felt all across it. Like hitting a pipe with a hammer.

In the west the plates are broken up by many faults, which absorb the energy release.

Re:Because of the geology (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 3 years ago | (#37181790)

There was an earthquake in Colorado last night:

link []

Pittsburgh, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181658)

6th floor of a hospital here in Pittsburgh- my chair rocked and almost fell over.

M5.9 now, looks like it was revised. (3, Informative)

Aqualung812 (959532) | about 3 years ago | (#37181660)

Re:M5.9 now, looks like it was revised. (5, Funny)

adonoman (624929) | about 3 years ago | (#37181832)

I like that it's listed at a depth of 1km, with an uncertainty of +/- 7.4 km... I really hate those sky-quakes.

Raleigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181666)

Definitely felt in in Raleigh - of course, I assumed my neighbor's washer was just unbalanced and shaking the adjoining wall.

Being in Richmond (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 3 years ago | (#37181668)

The whole house shook for a good minute or more. Now I don't have to wonder what an earthquake feels like.

Where I am now, the cell and land lines phones are out, but I still have cable Internet access - thank you Comcast (oh the irony)

BTW Mineral is not Northern VA

Re:Being in Richmond (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 3 years ago | (#37181700)

Phones are back for me now

Felt it in Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181672)

Felt it in downtown Toronto as well. Also, they upgraded it to a 5.9.

Re:Felt it in Canada (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | about 3 years ago | (#37181720)

Yep, we felt it too (Mississauga, just west of Toronto). I thought it was a stress related dizzy spell for a second!

Re:Felt it in Canada (1)

kenboldt (1071456) | about 3 years ago | (#37181902)

Felt it in Barrie too.

Felt in Columbus, OH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181680)

Felt in Columbus, OH

wow (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181692)

Congrats to the East Coast for feeling an earthquake. With love from the West Coast.

News for nerds? (0)

deimios666 (1040904) | about 3 years ago | (#37181706)

Stuff that matters? At least add something like: the power of the earthquake was 1000 times weaker than the one hitting Fukushima.

Reporting from Florida... (0, Troll)

itchythebear (2198688) | about 3 years ago | (#37181708)

No tremors here, I just wanted to be cool and report something too...

Felt it in Windsor, Ontario! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181710)

More info:

Re:Felt it in Windsor, Ontario! (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 years ago | (#37181804)

Interesting that Colorado got a M5.3 [] (which is rare). OMG. The End Is Near!

USGS link []

Pennsylvania (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 3 years ago | (#37181712)

Got reports from a friend that works at Penn State that his building was shaking before the news reports started popping up.

Felt in Ohio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181714)

My wife called from her work to say that she felt her desk moving back and forth, and she wondered whether she had felt an earthquake.

Farmville near by! (1)

SirDrinksAlot (226001) | about 3 years ago | (#37181718)

How's Facebook's stock handling this? The quake was just north north east of FarmVille. Productivity everywhere just increased.

wussies. (0)

Rinikusu (28164) | about 3 years ago | (#37181722)

Pffffttttt.. 5.8? that's not even worth crawling out of bed for. /so-cal

What to (and not to) do during an earthquake (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181728)

What to Do During an Earthquake []
What to Do After an Earthquake []
Get cover, stay there, and don't go outside.

Re:What to (and not to) do during an earthquake (2)

grub (11606) | about 3 years ago | (#37181810)


I've bookmarked your /. comment so I will able to access it immediately if an earthquake ever hits around here.

Re:What to (and not to) do during an earthquake (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#37181876)

For a 5.8, no need to do anything special.

I once slept through a quake that moved my bed across the room when I lived in Alaska.

Fracking? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181730)

Was someone doing some fracking that we don't know about?

Amazing... (1)

ImYY4U (539546) | about 3 years ago | (#37181734)

I didn't think there were any fault line anywhere near Washington how could this Earthquake happen? Hmm...kind of coincidental how on Monday night there was a 5.3 magnitude earthquake that struck in southeast Colorado...

Also, why on Earth would they evacuate the Pentagon AFTER the earthquake? Does that make any sense at all?

Greensboro here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181742)

Scared the hell out of me. Over here in Greensboro NC, it wasn't bad or anything but "Is there an animal under my seat?! WTF?!" it's the unexplained that freaks you out... an earthquake in the East? No way... Laf.

Suburban Philadelphia (1)

padraic2 (2432584) | about 3 years ago | (#37181746)

On the top floor of a three story building, felt a pretty good wobble.

Ok? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181748)

I guess being from California makes you not understand why a 5.8 earthquake would make the front page of slashdot...

So you don't get earthquakes on the east coast?

Raleigh - RDU Airport (1)

Demoknight (66150) | about 3 years ago | (#37181768)

Also felt it here in Raleigh @RDU - 2nd floor - Roughly 5-6 seconds a couple of small bursts?

Felt the quake here in Cincinnati (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181770)

Very light but definitely felt the tremor.

Up in MI as well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181772)

Felt it in Grand Rapids, MI... only vibrated for a few seconds...

twitter confirmed it (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 years ago | (#37181774)

i called our director of IT who was a mile away in another building and he said i was crazy. so i hit up twitter and everyone is saying how NYC just had an earthquake. didn't even bother to check the news since twitter is as close to real time as you can get

Hampton Roads Virginia (1)

Sedated2000 (1716470) | about 3 years ago | (#37181776)

My office building is a single story cubicle farm. We felt two waves here of steady shaking. 37 miles away my fiance felt our apartment building swaying as well. No damage here that I'm aware of but some people are going home anyway.

Felt in Atlanta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181778)

We felt it in Atlanta. Our 3 story building shook.

Felt in Charleston, WV (1)

Cullyn321 (1417513) | about 3 years ago | (#37181794)

Felt it here... People were evacuating building, businesses are closing down, and gov workers are going home..... All over the little shake we felt. Oh and as I was writing this just heard they were evacuating our capitol.

Philadelphia here (1)

scubamage (727538) | about 3 years ago | (#37181796)

They just upgraded it to 5.9. Felt it here on the 39th floor of my company's building. At first I thougth I was having a panic attack or something, then I realized everyone else was trying to figure out what was going on (the building is tall enough to catch wind sometimes, so it isn't abnormal to feel a brief shake). We ran to the window (engineers know better than to hide in doorways!) and verified that the water in the pool on top of the building next door was shimmying, indicating some definite motion was going on. Now I just feel a little queasy. Weird experience.

Toronto (1)

complex_pi (2030154) | about 3 years ago | (#37181814)

Felt in Toronto too.

Re:Toronto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181882)

First Canadian Place swaying sure was worrying.

Disappointed (3, Funny)

paleo2002 (1079697) | about 3 years ago | (#37181818)

I live in northern NJ and didn't even know there was a quake until I saw it on the web. As a geology teacher I'm really disappointed because I've never actually experienced an earthquake directly. Maybe I'll get lucky and there'll be some strong aftershocks. That would rock!

Felt it in Richmond, VA (obviously) (1)

Ryantology (2388210) | about 3 years ago | (#37181822)

I've finally lived the dream of getting to watch my furniture dance without the benefit of alcohol. I'm about an hour's drive from the epicenter.

Earthquake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181828)

Felt here in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Gentle shaking of desk.

Didn't feel a thing? (1)

DigiTechGuy (1747636) | about 3 years ago | (#37181844)

I walked into the office after coming back from lunch and everyone was all excited about some earthquake or some such nonsense. I was driving and didn't feel a thing. The roads here are terrible though, but sure explains why everyone was loitering around outside buildings down the main drag in town.

USGS Link (0)

wbav (223901) | about 3 years ago | (#37181854)

There was one last night in CO. Why is this news for nerds?

Here's the link [] to usgs.

Building Swaying Gently 10th Floor Toronto, Ontari (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181860)

Felt it up, here...went outside to bird dog the girls streaming out of the building and lost cell access for a few minutes..

Cincinnati, OH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181864)

Felt it here as well

Easthampton, MA (1)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | about 3 years ago | (#37181874)

Felt it here at work. We're on the third floor of an old brick factory building. Certainly heard a few items upstairs hit the floor. Everyone went outside and proceeded to not have cell service. Text was fine though.

Felt it in Columbus, OH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181878)

Felt it in Columbus OH as well. Pretty far away

timestamps - out by 3 minutes? (1)

rcpitt (711863) | about 3 years ago | (#37181880)

Hmmm... first indication I got was a post at 10:55AM (time shows my Pacific time) on Google+ from one Scott Beale

Note that my workstation is locked into NTP (drift of 5.0ms) but in any case I'd expect that Google's servers are too.

Good earthquake stanards? (1)

theshibboleth (968645) | about 3 years ago | (#37181896)

5.9's a pretty big earthquake for the East Coast, no? I'm surprised there wasn't more damage. Anyone know what magnitude the buildings are built to withstand? (As far as cell/internet/land lines being down, that happens on the West Coast too, but it's just because everyone's trying to use them at the same time.)

Time discrepancy (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 3 years ago | (#37181904)

The USGS site has it occurring a few minutes earlier - 1:51pm - while here we say 1:58pm. Not sure where the slashdot article gets its time from, or what the discrepancy comes from...

Felt in Toronto (1)

Pope (17780) | about 3 years ago | (#37181908)

18th floor of an office building, a bunch of the people noticed it, and a whole lot didn't. Guess it depends on what you're doing. I blame my not noticing on being a guy and therefore a poor multitasker :D

Epicenter Mineral, VA (2, Informative)

QuantumPion (805098) | about 3 years ago | (#37181914)

The epicenter of the earthquake was apparently just a few miles away from North Anna Nuclear Power Plant [] .

Pentagon is being evacuated (1)

daboochmeister (914039) | about 3 years ago | (#37181920)

We just received notice that the Pentagon is being evacuated, as a precaution.

Nice shake in Philly (1)

kammat (114899) | about 3 years ago | (#37181926)

Felt the desk moving, thought it was a truck outside again. When it didn't stop after a second we were all looking around puzzled. Hoping everything at home is okay.

man made? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181928)

Last night there was a 5.3 in Colorado, where the only only earthquakes in the last 100 years were both 5.x size and were later determined to be man made via drilling or explosives. Same thing today. 5.3 in CO and then a 5.8 in VA. VA is not known for natural seismic activity but it is known for being the center of the federal government. Will researchers be able to determine if it was natural or if it was the result of some drilling/construction deep under DC?

Southern NJ (1)

Sefi915 (580027) | about 3 years ago | (#37181930)

At home, doing laundry from a weekend away with my fiancee, I felt rattling that I initially attributed to my dad toodling around in his wheelchair. Then when stuff started to fall off shelves, I knew something else was going on.

Not many clouds in the sky - no tornado... only thing left that's not unnatural is earthquake. It was neat, but slightly scary too.

From Florida (1)

Splitterside (1983872) | about 3 years ago | (#37181938)

We didn't feel nothing down here...

Felt it in Cambridge, MA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181942)

Just a gentle rumble for 20 seconds or so.

Colorado Too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37181946)

Apparently there was also a quake in Colorado... []

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