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“It seemed like people were feeling the aftershocks down to about 1.7 or 1.8 magnitudes,” Mr. Williams said. “If they’re laying there in bed in the evening, they’re going to feel a much smaller quake than if they’re walking around.”

In fact, Mineral residents might feel aftershocks in the area for another year or so, he said. Because large earthquakes are not frequent in Virginia, “We don’t have a good predictor of aftershock behavior.”

A lack of data on historical quakes also proves problematic for future earthquake prediction, Mr. Williams said.

“Is this the biggest quake that region can produce?” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to figure out. It’s not going to be easy to solve that question.”

But it’s an answer many Mineral residents would like to have.

Asked if she thought last year’s was the last of the large quakes in her hometown, Ms. Lanning nodded her head.

“I think it was. I hope it was,” she said. “But some people still say a big one is coming.”