5:57 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Earthquake felt in WNY

Buffalo, NY – An earthquake center in Virginia was felt in New York, Washington, North Carolina and right here in Western New York.

The U.S. Geological Survey has slightly lowered its estimate of the earthquake's magnitude from 5.9 to 5.8.

Buildings in New York City shook briefly Tuesday afternoon.

The quake centered northwest of Richmond, Va. rattled the ground.

The quake was felt right here in Western New York. We've had reports from Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Amherst, West Seneca, Little Valley and Olean.

Carol McNall of Olean said "the house literally shook".

At UB'S Earthquake center in Amherst, they report that the east coast quake was moderate but significant.

"The earthquake was moderate but significant because we haven't had very many earthquakes of this magnitude in the eastern United States or eastern Canada," said Andre Filiatrault, PhD, professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering at the University at Buffalo and director of UB's MCEER (Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research).

"This earthquake will be useful in providing data to help us make better seismic maps," said Filiatrault.

Filiatrault added that the data collected from this quake will help scientists better predict where earthquakes may occur and help engineers design more durable buildings.

Governor Andrew Cuomo issued the following statement:

"The State Office of Emergency Management continues to monitor the effects in New York State from the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that originated near Mineral, Virginia this afternoon.

The state is initiating comprehensive reviews of critical and sensitive infrastructure including the state's hydroelectric plants, nuclear power plants, key bridges and tunnels, and other assets.

I am getting regular reports from agencies all over the state and at this time there are no reports of damage or power outages."

WBFO'S Eileen Buckley and Mark Scott talked to local residents about what they felt and put together an audio postcard. You can click the above audio to listen.