According to the United States Geological Survey, Virginia experienced an earthquake on Aug. 23. The quake was of magnitude 5.8 and was felt in Greensboro.
Dave Krongel ’11 told The Guilfordian he was in a music studio and thought the shaking he felt was just a garbage truck making the ground rumble, but he soon realized this was not the case.
“The shaking went on for far too long; once I realized it was an earthquake, I was taken aback,” said Krongel.
Shortly after the quake, Kent Chabotar, president and professor of political science, released a general statement informing the community of the quake.
“As with any earthquake, aftershocks are likely to occur and we cannot tell if those will impact our part of North Carolina,” said Chabotar.
The earthquake occurred due to reverse faulting on a north or northeast-striking plane within a previously recognized seismic zone: the Central Virginia Seismic Zone.
The earthquake’s epicenter was between Mineral and Louisa, two small Virginia towns.
Senior Kieran Brackbill told The Guilfordian that he was on the second floor of Founders Hall at a poster sale when the quake took place and, while others around him felt the tremors, he did not.
“Perhaps Birkenstocks have good absorption,” said Brackbill.
Professor of Geology Marlene McCauley put the quake in perspective.
“For people in Los Angeles, a 5.8 would not cause a disruption,” said McCauley.
McCauley also said that structures in the Eastern and Southern parts of the U.S. are not built with earthquakes in mind.
“Had the earthquake taken place under Richmond, instead of such a small town like Mineral, Va., we might have seen more damage and injuries,” said McCauley.
McCauley told The Guilfordian that earthquakes do not hurt people, structures that fall on people in the course of an earthquake do.
“In the case of Mineral, Va., there simply were not large structures that were there to potentially fall,” said McCauley.
McCauley said that most structures in the Eastern and Southern U.S. are not built with the reinforcements provided for earthquake damage in the Western U.S., because of the rarity of earthquakes in this area.
Following the quake, the Office of Public Safety, in tandem with the President’s Office and the Office for Campus Life, made sure the campus was structurally intact, according to Ron Stowe, director of Public Safety.
“We made sure that there was no structural damage and that members of our community were alright,” said Stowe.
In spite of the tremors felt on campus and across most Eastern states, classes remained on schedule and no injuries or structural damage were reported.