Area Residents Flood 911 Center with Calls of Earthquake - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Area Residents Flood 911 Center with Calls of Earthquake

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AMELIA COUNTY (WRIC) - Loud thunder. A big explosion. That's what some people thought they experienced Wednesday night after a 3.2 magnitude earthquake hit Central Virginia.

The quake struck at 9:47 p.m. in Amelia County, 32 miles west of the City of Richmond.

For nearly 15 minutes, more than 100 calls came into Powhatan's 911 center.  Many of the calls of people asking what happened and if there was that an earthquake. Some believed it was an earthquake, others thought it was thunder and some had no idea.

While many people felt the quake, there wasn't really any damage.

Caller: "You guys getting reports of an earthquake?"

Caller: "Yeah it was just a great big…something. Felt like it hit the house."

Others wondered if there had been a huge explosion.

Caller: "Was there a huge explosion somewhere in this county?"

Caller: I'm going to tell you what it sounded like a freaking explosion in my house. A major boom. I mean it was just unreal.

911: "Powhatan 911."
Caller: "Yeah this is Billy."
911: "Hey."
Caller: "Do you just feel the ground rumble?"
911: "Yeah, I think it's an earthquake."
Caller: "I could feel it coming and I thought it was, then the house went babaam! I said 'Holy [expletive]!'"

One caller just laughed it off.

Caller: "That was an earthquake right?"
911: "We believe so."
Caller: "Hahaha you know what's really awesome, is that my septic tank went out and then like two hours later we have an earthquake. Ok sorry to bother you."

Wednesday night's earthquake was the fourth one the Central Virginia area has experienced in 10 years. As far as seismic activity goes, that's a lot of shaking in a short amount of time.

"Three earthquakes in 10 year period," says VCU Geologist Arif Sikder. "Though they are not high magnitude but it appears to me that something is cooking up underneath the soil."

Sikder says the earthquake in Louisa from 2011 happened on a known fault line. The one Wednesday night happened where no known fault line exists.

"No fault line is visible where the earthquake occurred last night," he says. "It means there is a fault, so we need to look at the area and keep our eye on. Something might happen."

He says this area has become the most active region on the entire East Coast.

"This is a passive continental margin, we are not supposed to have earthquakes in the East Coast."

Sikder also says the area has very hard rocks, which he says causes earthquakes to be more violent.
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