Earthquake Gets Lots of Attention Tuesday Afternoon

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 26, 2011

Just call us Little San Francisco.
The office floor started shaking Tuesday afternoon. I didn’t think much of it at first, but it continued.
An earthquake?
I listened for a big truck rumbling by. Hearing none, I decided the ground was indeed trembling. Not badly, but enough to take notice.
Up in northern Virginia, the epicenter of the 5.9 level earthquake, my sweet daughter-in-law was hustling the babies out of the house worried the walls were about to fall on them.
The quake was felt up and down the East Coast. Cell phone service was interrupted in places. One of our subscribers, Leslie Holcomb Madigan in Charlottesville, Va., reported on Facebook, “Our building shook terribly … very scary! Luckily no damage nor injuries reported.”
Another reader, the Rev. Suzanne Parker Miller of Raleigh, wrote, “Just survived my first earthquake.”
Indeed, this was the first quake most of us have felt. Other tremors have occurred at night or were too faint to notice. This one got our attention.
The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Office of Emergency Management issued a quick news release, confirming the 1:51 p.m. earthquake had been centered near Louisa, Va., northwest of Richmond. The news release also gave instructions about what to do in the event of an earthquake. I hadn’t done any of those things.
Duck or drop to the floor.
Take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture. Or crouch against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms. Stay away from windows, mirrors or things that might fall.
Hold on to the furniture and be prepared to move with it during the earthquake.
The office also gave another piece of advice: Don’t call 911 to ask questions. That phone line is for emergencies …