Earthquake rattles east central Virginia

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 2, 2010; 10:29 PM

An earthquake, which many people felt and recognized, rumbled through part of the Washington region Saturday, authorities said.

The quake, recorded as a magnitude 3 by the U.S. Geological Survey, shook the ground in east central Virginia, between Fredericksburg and Richmond, about 4:15 p.m.

No damage or injuries were reported. But people recognized it for what it was.

"We felt it," said a woman who lives on Goshen Road in the Montpelier area of Hanover County. "The house rumbled and the dishes shook," she said.

"It sounded like a really big truck."

She said neighbors also reported a "loud rumbling."

A Virginia Tech seismological site indicates that Hanover is in one of two sections of Virginia where small quakes occur occasionally.

The quake, which was centered a few miles west of Interstate 95 and the Kings Dominion Amusement Park occurred about 12 miles below the surface, according to data from the Geological Survey.

By 9 p.m. Saturday, 123 reports of the quake had been sent to the survey's "Did You Feel It" site. Reports came from an area of about 3,000 or 4,000 square miles. The largest number, 33, came from an area in Hanover with about 5,000 residents.

Saturday's quake was weaker than the one widely felt in the Washington area in July. The Geological Survey classed that as a 3.4-magnitude quake, which produced about twice the ground movement.

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