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Rochester

Earthquake Felt Across New York State

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Rochester: Earthquake Felt Across New York State
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Did you feel the Earth move under your feet Tuesday? If you did, you were not alone.

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia Tuesday afternoon was felt as far south as Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and here in New York.

The quake was centered northwest of Richmond, Virginia. Parts of the Pentagon, White House, and Capitol were evacuated.

There were reports of some injuries in the Washington area, but nothing serious.

The National Park Service tells the AP that engineers have found a crack near the top of the Washington Monument, and that it may have been caused by the earthquake. A Park Service spokesman said the monument will be close indefinitely to keep the public safe.

Rochester Reacts to Earthquake

By: Casey J. Bortnick
It may have taken her by surprise, but Heather Hefferman knew it was an earthquake.

"I think I was just starting to fall asleep,” said Heather. "The couch was shaking and my whole lamp was going back and forth."

Heather was sure everyone else in East Rochester would be just as shaken up as she was.

"I went outside and yelled to my daughter and when I said the word earthquake I look at one of my neighbors and said ‘did you feel that?’ and he said no and was looking at me like I had two heads,” said Heather.

In downtown Rochester, the ground shook for about 30 seconds underneath one of the city's tallest buildings.

"I could see the shade on the window shaking back and forth," said Jason Biondolillo. He works on the 11th floor of the HSBC Building. At first, he wasn't sure what happened.

"I looked at the window and I saw some construction, so I wondered is this an earthquake or just something going on downstairs, I really didn't know at first."

Nine floors up, Robert Shaddock knew exactly what was happening.

"I felt them here before, so I knew it was an earthquake. I'm surprised it was so far away.
Virginia? That's pretty far,” said Shaddock.

Some employees were concerned enough to head down to the lobby. Most stayed right were they were.

“If I needed to get out in a hurry, I'm on the 11th floor. I'm not going anywhere,” said Jason.


Even though her neighbors didn't feel it, Heather now knows she wasn’t dreaming.

"I do have big cracks in the walls,” said Heather. “They felt it in Washington DC, they felt in Massachusetts, it was felt right here in East Rochester. So I though that was interesting.”

Security at the HSBC Building says no one was shaken up, and the group of employees that had gathered in the lobby went back upstairs to finish their work as soon as the ground stopped shaking.

The last time the ground shook like this in Rochester was June of 2010. A magnitude 5.0 quake in Quebec was felt here.

Checking the Seismograph

By: Sheba Clarke
Rochester: Earthquake Felt Across New York State
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Researchers at the University of Rochester noticed the quake after it was documented on their seismograph.

Dr. Rory Cotrell says with a 5.8 quake, it usually only causes damage within 50 kilometers of the epicenter. She says many in Rochester had to be at the right place at the right time to notice the shake.

She says it was still a strong quake for this region.

"This is a rare event for the East Coast. We Don’t typically get earthquakes at this range, certainly not on a regular basis,” said Cotrell.

Cottrell says the earthquake was stronger than the one in Quebec that many in New York felt last summer.

STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO ON EARTHQUAKE

The State Office of Emergency Management continues to monitor the effects in New York State from the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that originated near Mineral, Virginia this afternoon.

The state is initiating comprehensive reviews of critical and sensitive infrastructure including the state’s hydroelectric plants, nuclear power plants, key bridges and tunnels, and other assets.

I am getting regular reports from agencies all over the state and at this time there are no reports of damage or power outages.

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