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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Virginia earthquake one of NINETY tremors across U.S. in a day - 24th Aug 2011

The earthquake felt across the east coast yesterday may have been a rare event – but there were 90 other shakes across the U.S. on the same day.

The biggest of those was a 5.3 in Colorado, but only a few of the 90 were felt by people and just 12 were above a magnitude of 3.0.

The 5.8 earthquake in Virginia that was felt in New York and Washington D.C. was so widespread because the tremors were shallow at between one and four miles deep.

Tuesday was a typical day for earthquakes in the U.S. in terms of numbers of tremors – but such a big earthquake on the east coast was very unusual.

A small earthquake shook the San Francisco Bay area as well last night, striking at 11:36pm local time and centred six miles from Oakland.

‘It was a strange day,’ Rafael Abreu, of the U.S. Geological Survey, told the Los Angeles Times. ‘But Mother Nature teaches us something new every single day.’

The Virginia area was hit by its strongest quake since 1897, which resulted in buildings such as the Capitol and Pentagon being evacuated.

The quake's severity was 'highly unusual', one Brown University professor said, although it was in an area known for smaller quakes and it spread because of accommodating terrain.

'This is the largest earthquake by far that I am aware of occurring there in recent history,' seismology professor Karen Fisher said. Read More