If you were in the Valley (or, really, anywhere on the East Coast yesterday), you probably felt the 5.8 earthquake that epicentered in central Virginia yesterday. The quake was a real rarity in the Valley and a first for many of us (myself certainly included). Those of us in our Bethlehem office weren't even sure if it was truly an earthquake or just something specific to our building (a quick look at Twitter and Facebook confirmed that it was something much larger); interestingly enough, our Easton office didn't feel anything.
Thankfully, it appears that there were no real injuries or damages in the immediate aftermath, but here's a quick look at earthquake-related news.
- The epicenter of the quake itself can be seen here. It appears that it's central location was Mineral, Virginia.
- As a precaution, PennDOT is inspecting all of its bridges to confirm that there was no damage.
- Again, as a precaution, at least two nuclear reactors were shut down, though there are no reports of any damages.
- Though we escaped damage in the Lehigh Valley, that wasn't the case everywhere. In Washington, D.C., the National Cathedral suffered damage as portions of its spire fell to the ground. Additionally, the Washington Monument suffered a crack at the top of the structure, resulting in its closure for inspection.
- The quake forced the evacuation of the U.S. Capitol building, forcing the U.S. Senate to hold a pro forma session off-site, the first time such a session was not held in the capital building in recent memory.
- Aftershocks are possible in the region for months - so here are some earthquake safety tips.