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A year after earthquake, the shocks linger in Virginia town
She recently moved to the neighboring town of Orange, about 20 miles away, with her two young daughters to get farther from the aftershocks.
“Most of them are usually late at night, around 2 or 3,” Ms. Lanning said of the aftershocks. “The last time I felt one, I was concerned with getting my kids and getting out of the house.”
David Whitlock, owner of Mineral Auto Parts, said it’s normally only a few items that move overnight, but the tremors can be “kind of unnerving, especially the ones that are 2.0 or more.”
“They shake you pretty good,” he said. “You’re a whole lot more aware of the noise.”
Glenn Courson said he wakes at night to something he describes as sounding like a “train outside your window.”
Mr. Courson works for Bumpass, Va.-based RTW Construction Corp., and since the earthquake he has been busy repairing historical buildings, including the stately Cuckoo house, a two-story brick mansion built around 1819 and home to seven generations of the same family. Last August, its four chimneys crumbled when the quake hit.
“We’ve reused a lot of the same bricks, about 24,000,” he said. “Most homes lost their chimneys because most of them were brick. The way the Cuckoo house was constructed, it was brick and plaster right on each other. You could see cracking — some so big you could see outside the home.”
Among the other buildings damaged was the town hall, which had its roof collapse.
Mayor Pam Harlowe said Mineral’s ability to move forward after the quake was evidence of the town’s resiliency.
“That hardship created a lot of friendships people didn’t know they had,” she said, going on to acknowledge that the situation is not over.
“You don’t cringe as much, but aftershocks still happen,” she said, “and we have to stop and think, ‘Is that a train or is this another earthquake?’”
If it seemed to residents as if there was an aftershock every day, that’s because there was.
“I heard stories from people out there, in the beginning, on the first day it felt like it was really shaking all the time,” said Mr. Williams, the geophysicist. “It’s really slowed down in the last couple of months.”
More than 400 aftershocks in eight months might seem excessive for Mineral locals, but, Mr. Williams said, it is not. In time, geophysicists might confirm that twice as many aftershocks — most too small for people to notice — occurred.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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