10 years ago today: Powerful earthquake rocks Louisa, Virginia

Numerous homes were damaged in the powerful quake in 2011.
Numerous homes were damaged in the powerful quake in 2011.
Published: Aug. 22, 2019 at 11:35 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2021 at 9:28 AM EDT
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LOUISA, VA (WWBT) - A massive earthquake centered in Louisa struck the East Coast 10 years ago today.

The quake measured 5.8 on the Richter scale and was centered about 5 miles south of Mineral at about 1:51 p.m.

It was felt as far north as Rhode Island and New York City. While it didn’t cause any deaths or major injuries, it did cause $80 million in damage to homes, schools and public buildings in Louisa.

Two schools had to be demolished because the damage was so extensive.

The air control tower at Richmond International Airport was briefly evacuated and many downtown Richmond buildings were evacuated following the quake. Both Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens reportedly shut down all rides while inspections are being conducted.

Parts of the Pentagon, the White House, the U.S. Capitol and federal agencies were evacuated.

The earthquake struck an area that historically is not seismically active. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the largest recorded earthquake in Virginia history was a 5.9 on the scale, centered around Giles County in 1897.

A 4.2 magnitude aftershock was felt in Louisa later that night and numerous earthquakes have been felt in the area since then, including one this past June.

From the Archives: Louisa residents inspect earthquake damage

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