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Va. county suffers small earthquake, 2 tornadoes

In the past three weeks, a county in Virginia has experienced a small earthquake and two powerful tornadoes.

No damage was reported from the earthquake, which was detected in the Pulaski County area March 28, according to local officials and the US Geological Survey.

But the tornadoes, which hit April 8, caused real damage.

The county has been “taking a beating” lately, said Frank Conner, a member of the county board of supervisors.

Authorities said the twisters destroyed 31 structures and caused major damage to 25 others and minor damage to 52 more, mostly in the town of Pulaski and the nearby community of Draper.

Most of the buildings described in the report as “ structures” were homes, said Joe Sheffey, who is chairman of the county supervisors.

Neither Conner nor Sheffey said they could remember any previous tornado in the county, which is about 280 miles southwest of Washington, and about 30 miles southwest of Blacksburg, the home of Virginia Tech.

Sheffey, 50, said he had lived in the county all his life. There had “never been a tornado,” he said.

One tornado, which struck the town of Pulaski, had winds estimated at 125 mph, and the other, in the Draper area, had estimated winds of 110 mph, according to official reports.

Recovery, Sheffey said, has been a “slow process.”

The quake, at magnitude 2.5, was hardly felt. “It was a very small-type quake,” Sheffey said.


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