On This Day in 2011: Powerful earthquake rocks Virginia

The 5.8 magnitude quake caused $80 million in damage in Louisa
Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 9:26 AM EDT
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LOUISA, Va. (WWBT) - A massive earthquake centered in Louisa County struck the East Coast on Aug. 23, 2011.

The quake, which hit just before 2 p.m. that day, measured 5.8 on the Richter scale. It was centered about 5 miles south of Mineral.

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.

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

From the Archives: Louisa residents inspect earthquake damage

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.