By Shawn Nowlin, firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Salem, Roanoke County, Montgomery County, Blacksburg and other neighboring areas all experienced a small-scale earthquake on Monday around 9:40 a.m. Within minutes, the Virginia Tech Seismic Network detected the quake.
Initially thought to be a mining blast by some, the National Earthquake Information Center confirmed that it was indeed a quake. The US Geological Survey later confirmed that the quake measured at 2.4 on the Richter magnitude scale.
While earthquakes of this magnitude are considered weak, they can still be felt by people. Some Salem residents described the ground shaking between 9:30 and 9:40 a.m.
Coincidentally, Steve Withers was on his way to get a milkshake when he felt the ground move. “Over the years, I’ve realized that when I start my week with a strawberry shake, a positive domino effect tends to happen,” he said. “I was reaching for my wallet when I felt something. I was shocked to learn later that it was in fact an earthquake.”
One minute, Andrew Croswell was jogging through Longwood Park with his dog. And the next, he said, “I felt something slightly move. I didn’t know what it was at first because I was too busy jamming to a J. Cole playlist. When I found out later that it was a quake, I thought that was cool.”
It has been a decade since Virginia experienced a massive earthquake. On August 23, 2011, a 5.8 magnitude quake that centered in Louisa County was felt a great distance away from the epicenter.
Michael Joplin, 41, says he wasn’t living in Virginia at the time, but remembers hearing about that Louisa County quake on the news. Monday’s quake is the first one he says he ever experienced. As soon as it happened, Joplin sent out a text to some loved ones to see if they felt anything. “Some of them said they did, while others said didn’t feel anything. All that matters to me though was everyone’s safety,” he said.