Unusual Earthquakes Strike From Colorado to New York

   on August 23 2011 9:27 PM
PHOTOS: East Coast Earthquake Sends Strong Warning Messages
Office workers evacuated from buildings near Foley Square stand outside in New York Reuters

In an unprecedented several hours, earthquake struck the East Coast, sending tremors from Virginia to Canada, just hours after a separate earthquake rattled Colorado.

Just minutes after 2pm EST on Tuesday, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake, which was centered in Mineral, Virginia, rattled the East Coast, forcing people in White House through Wall Street to evacuate buildings.

Control towers at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City and Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey were also evacuated, and flights were grounded briefly in Washington, Philadelphia and New York.

Across the country, near midnight in Colorado, Raton, Colorado Springs, and La Junta was hit by a similarly sized earthquake - a 5.7 magnitude.

The Colorado earthquake was the strongest to hit the state since 1973, while the last large earthquake to hit Virginia was 1897, and the largest ever to hit Washington D.C.

While highly unusual for each area, neither earthquake did caused any major destruction or injuries, though nerves were rattled from each. Minor structural damage was reported in each area.

Moreover, the mid-day East Coast earthquake caused several traffic delays, jamming up freeways in Washington and causing a slow-down in mass-transit in major metropolitan areas near Virginia.

There is an average annually of 1300 earthquakes in the United States between 5.0 and 5.9 magnitudes, according to the USGS. Additionally there are several million earthquakes worldwide every year.

 

Join the Discussion