FIRST ON 3: Earthquake in Virginia rattles Cape Fear


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Submitted: Wed, 08/24/2011 - 3:01am
Updated: Wed, 08/24/2011 - 12:41pm
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Waterspouts. Tornadoes. A hurricane. And now an earthquake that rattled the Cape Fear.

Though the earthquake was centered in Virginia, folks all over our area reported feeling a tremor all the way down here.

“It’s scary,” said Carrie McIntyre, who felt the quake in Wilmington. “It’s really scary, because when it’s happening, what do you do? Really, you can’t do very much, maybe try to protect yourself.”

The US Geological Survey says the earthquake was a magnitude 5.8 and located 87 miles southwest of Washington, DC, at 1:51 p.m.

It was around 2 p.m. when folks in our area say they felt the ground shake beneath them.

“I looked out the window, and you could see the fence shaking along with the bushes so everything was shaking at once,” Ruben Maldonado of Rocky Point said.

All US Capitol complex buildings were evacuated after the earthquake.

People as far away as Rhode Island and Illinois also reported feeling the quake.

WWAY received reports from people in Wilmington, Leland, Rocky Point, Burgaw, White Lake, Tabor City and other areas.

“I was at my desk doing some paperwork and my chair moved, and I thought it was the animals,” said Melinda Cheshire of Wilmington. “I turned around to fuss at them, and then my desk started shaking, and then I looked outside and it looked like the house was moving.”

Despite the shaking along the Cape Fear coast, there have not been any reports of damage or injuries in our area. There have been reports of some damage and injuries in and around Washington, DC.

Safety systems automatically took two nuclear reactors at a power plant near the epicenter off line.

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