Quake rocks Virginia, felt in Cincinnati

Although the earthquake on Tuesday happened nearly 500 miles away in Virginia, many people here in the Tri-State said they felt the quake.

University of Cincinnati Geologist Attila Kilinc said the quake was recorded on the seismograph there at the school.

He said the machine actually allows you to see exactly when and how much the ground shifted here in Cincinnati. Kilinc said it all occurred around 2p.m. on Tuesday. He said the machine also recorded a few aftershocks here in Cincinnati, shortly after that time. Kilinc said that people in taller, high-rise buildings probably felt the quake more than those in shorter buildings.

"Imagine {these two wooden rods} are a two story building, and this as a six story building," said Kilinc. "If I shake the bottom, the six story building is going up and down and side to side a lot more than the two story building so people in the lower floors of the building are not going to feel it. People living in the upper floors of the building will feel it."

Kilinc said that residents' primary concern right now should be landslides, because he said the area has a lot of hills with a thin veneer of top soil, and it wouldn't take much for that soil to move down onto the roads below them.

Still, many more locals wanted to talk about their experience.

U.C. Professor of Geology Warren Huff said he was in his office when he felt the building shake.

Huff said he felt a few seconds of light, gentle movement; enough to shake the room, but not to bother or break his pendulum clock that hangs on the wall.

Huff also said not everyone on the same floor felt the same thing.

"My colleague, way down at the end of the hall, was shouting, and I knew he had felt it," said Huff. "The student sitting in the other side over here also said something, and I knew she had felt it. There were several people who did, but the fella next door to me didn't feel it."

Gregg Erbaugh echoes that sentiment.

"They could see the swaying of the blinds," said Erbaugh, referring to a co-worker.

Erbaugh works at Southwest Financial Services, a company located in a building by the Ohio River.

"About seven, eight minutes 'til two, just felt some light motion there at my desk," said Erbaugh. "Kind of moving slowly back and forth. Almost like on a cruise ship or something like that; doing a little swaying back and forth."

Others downtown had similar reactions.

It's also a story that hits close to home -- this reporter's home.

My little sister, Karima Holmes, is a senior at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, a town just miles from the epicenter of the quake. She said she was in class when it hit.

"It felt like somebody was taking a wrecking ball and trying to wreck the side of the building," said Holmes. "It wasn't enough to throw us onto the ground. A girl shouted it would probably be best to walk out, but then it stopped when we were trying to get out of the door. I went back to my seat, looked outside and everyone else was kind of panicked who was sitting out on the picnic table. You could tell they were freaked out."

Experts warn that if you feel an earthquake, you should stay put and cover your head. Fortunately, there were only a few reports of minor injuries in Virginia.

As far as we can tell, there was no real damage caused here in the Tri-State.

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