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Topper's Blog: 2011 Earthquake, Eastcoast Earthquake, August 23, 2011

9:30 PM, Aug 22, 2013   |    comments
  • Kallie Bienvenu snapped this picture of the damage done to the Washington National Cathedral by the earthquake in August 2011. Officials estimate it will take a decade to make all the necessary repairs.
  • home in Prince George's County that sustained damage
    
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Earthquake 2011, August 23 

We'll all remember where we were at 1:51 PM Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011. We experienced the second strongest earthquake on record in the East. Officially the USGS (United States Geological Survey) measured the quake as a 5.8 on the Richter scale. It is not that unusual for small earthquakes to occur in the East. What was unusual about the quake was its intensity, its duration and its scope. The 5.8 rating on the Richter scale was the second strongest earthquake ever measured in the East. The only stronger earthquake was way back in September of 1886 when a devastating 7.3 earthquake struck the Southeast United states. The earthquake produced intense shaking that lasted anywhere from twenty five to fifty five seconds. That duration is very long for an East Coast quake. Finally, the scope was incredible as we know the earthquake was felt from Charlotte to Detroit to Toronto to Boston. Damage to the National Cathedral is up to twenty six million dollars and is expected to take ten years to complete. The damage to the Washington Monument will be repaired by the spring of 2014.

 

I was reminded of the December 8th, 20003 earthquake. Not unlike the quake in 2011, which was centered about 45 miles northwest of Richmond, the quake back in 2003 was also centered Near Richmond in that instance about 25 miles west of Richmond. The '03 quake was only 4.5 on the Richter scale and if you weren't at rest you would not have felt it.

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