A magnitude 5.8 (Mw) intraplate earthquake occurred in the U.S. state of Virginia on August 23, 2011 at 1:51 PM EDT (17:51 UTC). The focus was 60 km (40 mi) northwest of Richmond and 8 km (5 mi) from the town of Mineral, Virginia, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The earthquake reportedly occurred along the Spotsylvania Fault, an ancient fault-line that now sits in the middle of the North American plate. Three aftershocks of magnitudes 2.8, 2.2 and 4.2 occurred within hours of the main tremor.
The quake was the eastern United States' most powerful since an 1897 quake centered in Giles County, Virginia, which reached magnitude 5.9 (Mw), according to the USGS.
This is the type we should have. Basically some things fell off the shelves but damage was minimal. Thankfully I have not heard of any fatalities. The nuclear plant was spared. Here in New York I was at my desk and my chair was bucking like I was on a horse and my monitor was swaying. My one concern was those overhead ceiling tiles falling on my head. Overall a day to talk about but a non-event.
A fairly minor Earthquake, all things considered, which could have been a lot worse. While it wasn't noticeable up where I live, some of my family members in Pennsylvania could feel it. Personally, I'm more worried about the Hurricane which is hitting us this weekend.
A blessing in disguise, I'd say. Luckily for everyone, no permanent damage as of now. Definitely a sign that Washington is shaky... what an irony! In any case, it's a reminder not to take life for granted and that no earthquake can hit your area. Anything can happen!