I was chatting with the dishwasher installer when I heard a booming noise, rather like thunder. The next thing I knew, the house was shaking. I thought we had been bombed. I'm not kidding. We live in Tidewater, VA, for crying out loud. There are no earthquakes here. Additionally, growing up near the Radford Army Ammunition Plant that had blown up a couple of times when I was a kid, when you hear booming and the world shakes, there's been an explosion. Thus, it had to be a bomb.
But, the siren over in Surrey didn't go off, so it wasn't that (thank goodness as they are a nuclear power station). It felt as if a piece of heavy equipment had been dropped outside my house and set the ground trembling. Or, maybe like a train going by, but a really really rumbly train for a very long time. Or, like a washing machine off balance during the spin cycle that shakes the house down.
Joe (the installer) and I looked at each other to confirm we had experienced what we thought we had experienced. I was watching the porch swing swing back and forth rather violently and watched the furniture sway. It REALLY hosed our equilibrium--I still feel a bit off balance and it was over an hour ago.
I spammed the 'net looking for any kind of info I could find--thank goodness for the internet!--found some Tweets from my area on the weather channel site, and then called Brien. He checked the USGS website and discovered a 5.9 earthquake had hit in Central Virginia. Holy COW!!
We have sustained no damage and no injuries. All my family are present and accounted for--both in the 'burg, NOVA and here. I've texted back and forth with a few friends so I know they're okay. What a crazy crazy thing. And, let me tell you this, it gives me a whole new appreciation for the nightmare that was the earthquakes in Japan, Chile and Haiti. If this amount of shaking was a 5.9, holy wow. Just wow.
For future reference for me, and for anyone else interested, USGS info found here.
Please let me know you are all all right as well.