Earthquake in the NE Thought to be Terrorism
August 24, 2011 By Alicia Ramsay

A Virginia based 5.9 magnitude earthquake shook the East Coast on Tuesday, August 23.

At approximately 1:51 p.m, the tremor rushed many out of their homes, not certain of what occurred. Those residing on the twentieth floor of their buildings evacuated, grabbing their keys, money, and few other personal items.

The shock lasted about 20-30 seconds and was felt in the New York Tri-state area, Boston, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, North Carolina and even Toronto, Canada, officials said.

According to Dr. Arthur Lerner-Lam of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Division of Seismology, the earthquake occurred in a part of Central Virginia known for geologically old faults. It was created several hundred million years ago during the formation of the Appalachian Mountains. The largest previously recorded earthquake had a magnitude of 4.8. That was in 1875.

Cell phones were temporarily out of service, frustrating many who were trying to get in touch with their loved ones. However, there were no disruptions with text messaging. T-Mobile and AT&T assured customers that there were no reported damages to their network, according to The New York Times.

"For many people this was a stressful afternoon, but so far we've been lucky to avoid any major harm," said Former Mayor Bloomberg in an address on the incident a few hours after the shock in New York.

Many New Yorkers feared that the vibrations were the result of a terrorist bomb, and were surprised to find out it was due to an earthquake several hundred miles away.

Airports took precaution, as flights briefly remained in terminals in the Newark and John F. Kennedy Airports.

According to The New York Daily News, a 5.2 tremor was New York's biggest earthquake on August 10, 1884. The City's last big earth shock was a 4.7 magnitude in 1992.

There have been no reports of deaths nor injuries.

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