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UPDATE: 5.9 Magnitude Earthquake in VA Felt in Coventry

The 5.9 magnitude earthquake that happened shortly before 2 p.m. today could be felt along much of the east coast. Did you feel any swaying today?

Coventry residents were among those across the east coast who felt the ground sway today after a 5.9 magnitude earthquake in Virginia.

Experts report it is the largest quake felt in the state since the 5.9 Giles County quake in 1897.

The earthquake was first reported as a 5.8 magnitude quake. Reuters is reporting the earthquake was a 6.0, but according to the United States Geological Society, the quake registered 5.9 with an epicenter 4 miles southwest of Mineral, Va. and 83 miles from Washington D.C.

The Federal Aviation Administration has temporarily shut down several airport control towers in New York and Virginia and AMTRAK has halted trains in the affected areas, both for inspection.

The effects of the quake stretched north into New England, as buildings across Rhode Island and other New England states experienced the tremors.

The rare east coast earthquake began at 1:51 p.m. today, said Justin Starr, research assistant at the Weston Observatory in Massachusetts, a geophysical research laboratory of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Boston College. He said the epicenter was located 39 miles northwest of Richmond, VA.

"We've been getting calls from people in Boston, Massachusetts," said Starr, though there are reports of the quake being felt all over New England. This isn't unusual reach for a 5.9 magnitude earthquake, he said, but earthquakes in general on the East Coast are unusual.

People felt the shaking across the state. On Sean Walther's blog, usually the home for programming and tech discussions, commenters from Coventry and Providence noted they had felt the quake.

The Providence Journal reports that the State House has been evacuated after the tremors were felt there shortly after 2 p.m. At this time, no government buildings in Coventry have been evacuated.

Coventry Patch has received correspondence from residents across town reporting swaying furniture and small objects falling inside as well as outdoor tremors, causing vehicles to shake for about 30-40 seconds.

Peter Cassels August 23, 2011 at 07:19 PM
Yes, I definitely felt it. I was in my home office in Coventry and my desk chair started swaying. The walls of my house also shook.
Jackie Rankin August 23, 2011 at 08:44 PM
I felt it also. My recliner started moving back and forth by itself. I felt the house seem to shake for a few seconds.
Jim August 24, 2011 at 11:30 AM
The earth moved! Gee I thought I was responsible for that.
Mike Bottaro August 25, 2011 at 12:29 PM
Jim: LOL!

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