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Virginia

The Great SouthEast ShakeOut is a multi-state earthquake drill spanning much of the southeastern United States. ShakeOut activities for Virginia are supported by Virginia Department of Emergency Management. Earthquake information for Virginia is provided below.

Virginia Department of Emergency Management  Logo

Points of Contact

Virginia Department of Emergency Management
Matt Wall, Earthquake Program Manager
    matthew.wall@vdem.virginia.gov, (804) 897-9973
Bob Spieldenner, Director of Public Affairs
    pio@vdem.virginia.gov, (804) 897-6510

Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region III
Stephanie Nixon, Emergency Management Program Specialist
    stephanie.nixon@fema.dhs.gov, (215) 931-5638

PARTICIPANTS

people are currently registered to participate in this year's Great SouthEast ShakeOut Drill.

are from Virginia

Number of Virginia participants in each category

View names of participants:


EARTHQUAKE HAZARDS

Virginia and much of the East Coast experienced a widely-felt earthquake at 1:51 p.m. eastern daylight time on Tuesday, August 23, 2011. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the epicenter of the quake was located near Cuckoo, in Louisa County. With a magnitude of 5.8, this is the largest Virginia earthquake recorded by seismometers. More than 80 aftershocks have been reported by the USGS and the area is currently being monitored by geophysicists from several leading science institutions.

The U.S. Geological Survey is now reporting that this is the most widely-felt earthquake in U.S. history. Photos from the hazard assessment team can be found here.

Earthquakes in the eastern U.S. are different from the earthquakes that occur in more seismically active areas, such as California. California is located on the boundary between two large blocks of the earth’s crust, the North American and Pacific tectonic plates. As these plates grind past each other, stresses build up and periodically release catastrophically. Virginia, however, is located in the middle of the North American plate; the nearest tectonic plate boundary is the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Earthquake activity occurring away from plate boundaries is known as “intraplate seismicity.” Such earthquakes are generally less severe and less damaging than those occurring at plate boundaries, although occasional large earthquakes, such as the 5.8M in central Virginia, do occur.*

Virginia DEM Earthquake Page
http://www.vaemergency.gov/readyvirginia/stayinformed/earthquakes

Virginia Tech Seismological Observatory
http://www.geol.vt.edu/outreach/vtso

USGS Virginia Earthquake Webpage
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/?region=Virginia

*Earthquake hazard information from the Virginia Dept. of Mines, Minerals, and Energy webpage:
http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DMR3/va_5.8_earthquake.shtml

©2014 SCEC Southern California Earthquake Center @ USC
The Great SouthEast ShakeOut Step 1: Secure it now! Step 2: Make a plan Step 3: Make disaster kits Step 4: Is your place safe? Step 5: Drop, Cover, and Hold On Step 6: Check it out! Step 7: Communicate and recover!