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Earthquake Leaves Westminster Feeling a Little Shaky

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake in VA gave some Carroll County residents a startle today.

Maryland was one of a handful of states along the East Coast that felt earthquake tremors this afternoon.

The quake, centered about nine miles southwest of Mineral, VA, struck at 1:51 p.m. The United States Geological Survey has more info on the magnitude 5.9 quake here. According to the USGS, it was the largest quake recorded in Virginia since 1897. An aftershock that struck at 2:46 p.m. was recorded as a magnitude 2.8, according to the USGS.

The quake was felt as far away as Toronto, CNN reports.

Although Carroll County residents felt the earthquake, it appears as though damage was minimal. 

As of 4 p.m. the Westminster Fire Department reported that they received no calls resulting from the earthquake. 

McDaniel College Communications Director Joyce Muller said that after the quake, the campus was checked for safety including buildings and gas lines.

"As of now there is no apparent damage. We did not feel it was necessary to evacuate. We touched base with peer mentors who are on campus and just alerted people to the fact that there could be aftershocks," Muller said. 

Jim Simpson, the media relations representative for Carroll County government said that it was "kind of a trivial event." 

"It immediately felt to me like a mild tremor. I went outside to look to make sure the building shaking wasn’t a result of a bomb or something like that," Simpson said. "We ascertained that there was no problem, nothing had been damaged and just continued with business."

Simpson said that they had been in touch with the facilities manager for the county to determine that there were no issues.

"I would characterize it as a minor thing, we all looked up and said, 'gee, was that an earthquake'," Simpson said.

The City of Westminster also appears to have sustained no damage from the quake. City Administrator Marge Wolf said that there were no problems with the waste water plant or water plant or garages. 

"We checked everything out and, knock on wood, there are not even any water leaks," Wolf said. 

Neil Ridgely August 23, 2011 at 09:53 PM
Patch is looking a lot shakier every day to me as a reliable news source when I see it use sources such as the Commissioners paid news schmuck Jim Simpson as a quotable resource.
watchingfive August 24, 2011 at 02:01 AM
Terrific, the commissioners' new highly paid mouthpiece checks for bombs and then touts the first major east coast earthquake on record as trivial. Too bad it wasn't a bomb so you could whip up some anti-UN hysteria, huh Jim? Yep, he's making you commissioners look like the fools you are. He's in good company.
David J Iacono August 24, 2011 at 01:37 PM
Actually, it was a major event. The earthquake occurred in Congressman Eric Cantor's (R) district in Virginia. Cantor is one of the Tea Party kooks who is pushing to cut the funding of the U.S. Geologica Survey. Maybe God is sending these clowns a message.
RJ Teich August 24, 2011 at 01:51 PM
Gee, WHAT earthquake? Though I live in Carroll County, I was in my car off Painters Mill Road in Owings Mills (Baltimore County). Honestly, I had no idea there was an earthquake until I got home and checked my phone messages (and then my computer). Though I was in my car, it looks like I missed this event!

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