Earthquake hits Henrico, Central Virginia

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake centered just west of Henrico County struck today, shaking buildings throughout Henrico and along the East Coast but apparently causing more temporary panic than significant damage.

No injuries were immediately reported, but on Twitter and Facebook, some local residents reported minor damages in residences and office buildings from the quake, which shook between 25 and 30 seconds.

Glen Allen resident Meredith Hertzler described finding five cracks in the drywall at her home.

"Pictures are crooked and some little treasures were displaced off shelves," Hertzler wrote on the Henrico Citizen's Facebook page. "But nothing horrible.... yet."

While most in the region felt significant shaking inside their buildings or homes, a number of residents who were driving or walking at the time of the quake reported that they had not felt anything.

Henrico Police officials encouraged anyone who had reported damage to call (804) 501-7809.

Service at Richmond International Airport was not disrupted as a result of the quake, but the airport's FAA tower was evacuated for several minutes following the quake, according to airport spokesman Troy Bell. The airport was preparing for the possibility that it might receive some diverted flights that originally were scheduled to land in the Washington, D.C. area, but no such flights had been diverted to Richmond as of 3:30 p.m.

At the University of Richmond, where classes began yesterday, officials reported no damage or injuries.

Officials at the Richmond International Airport HCA Virginia reported that all of its hospitals were operating as normal following the quake.

At Richmond International Raceway, which will host its signature NASCAR race Sept. 10, officials reported no visible signs of damage.

In a statement, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said that state officials were working with local, state and federal agencies to determine if the quake had caused any significant damage.

"As part of this effort we are in touch with officials around the state," he said. "All indications are that emergency response plans and orderly evacuations have gone well today, and I thank all involved. In the wake of the earthquake, I would like to encourage all Virginians to check on neighbors and loved ones to ensure that everyone is safe and to continue cooperating with law enforcement and emergency responders working in your neighborhood. All resources of the Commonwealth have been put on alert to assist in any way necessary as we move forward.”

What did you hear or feel during or after the quake? Send us your reports of damage by e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on Twitter @HenricoCitizen.


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