Tuesday August 23, 2011 1:51 p.m.
-A powerful, "once-in-a-century" earthquake rocked Virginia Tuesday, rattling high rises in Richmond and shutting down two nuclear power reactors within 10 miles of the epicenter, but sparing the state major injuries or damage. Gov. Bob McDonnell and public safety officials said initial reports following the powerful 5.8-magnitude quake indicate its impacts were minimal.
-The East Coast gets earthquakes, but usually smaller ones and is less prepared than California or Alaska for shaking. The Washington area has had small, infrequent earthquakes over the years, including a 2.5-magnitude quake in 1997 that was within 25 to 30 miles of Friday's quake and a 2.3-magnitude quake in 1996 that was within 15 miles
-The most powerful earthquake to strike the East Coast in 67 years shook buildings and rattled nerves from South Carolina to Maine on Tuesday. Frightened office workers spilled into the streets in New York, and parts of the White House, Capitol and Pentagon were evacuated.
On Tuesday at 1:51 p.m., I was busy in the kitchen, just unpacking the dishwasher, when something strange happened. The dishes in the cabinets began to rattle and it almost felt like something was inside of them knocking things over, but then I realized it was the house shaking....???? It was a very surreal feeling, I actually felt a little dizzy, a very weird feeling, like I was having some sort of spell or something. It only lasted a few seconds and after it stopped, I thought I may have imagined it, but I saw something on top of the fridge still swaying back and forth, indeed something strange had just happened. I tried to call mom, but no answer, so I called work and they confirmed that something out of the ordinary had just taken place. Once I turned on the tv, I found out that we had just experienced a once in a lifetime earthquake here in Virginia! I think it will take quite a while for me to forget the strange, almost eerie feeling that went over me. I am so thankful that there was no major damage done from this earthquake. It did however, remind me of the all the devastation that has occurred in other places all around the world due to earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, floods, and hurricanes. I was reminded to continue to pray for the victims of these destructive forces of nature. I am reminded also, as we watch the tv closely to see what path Hurricane Irene will take, just how vulnerable we are to these storms. I pray that those in the path of this storm will use good judgement and listen to the warnings given. I'm not sure yet if we will have to leave home, although if the hurricane continues on the track it is headed, I think it would be wise.