Louisa Earthquake: Two Years Later

LOUISA, VA—Friday marks the two-year anniversary of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that rattled Central Virginia.

The frightening moments were captured on 911 calls.

“We just had an earthquake out in Gum Springs.”
“The house is still shaking; scared me to death.”

The quake was centered in Mineral, Virginia, and since then, more than 60 aftershocks have rattled the region.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management says the 2011 earthquake was a wakeup call and is proof quakes do happen here in Virginia. The department stresses the Commonwealth needs to be prepared for when the next big one hits.

“We know it can happen, it can happen again so we just need to be ready for it,” Bob Spieldenner with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management said.

Virginia Department of Emergency Management Spokesperson Bob Spieldenner says it's critical everyone in Virginia has an earthquake plan in place, put together an emergency kit and talk with their family about how to respond.

“Stay where you are, get underneath something and protect your head,” Spieldenner said about being safe during an earthquake.

Spieldenner said most injuries sustained during an earthquake result in debris falling from the ceiling or from the wall. 

Virginians will get the chance to test their safety knowledge October 17, during the Second Annual Great Southeast Shakeout earthquake drill.

This year, there's a push to get one million Virginians to participate in the drill.

“You don't have time to go anywhere the best thing to do is take shelter where you are,” Spieldenner said. 

Spieldenner says the Mineral earthquake was a learning experience, even for VDEM, and says following the quake, it has updated response plans to include bridge and cell phone tower inspections, utility disruptions and a better understanding of damage.

“You need to be able to identify a crack in the wall,” Spieldenner said. “It may not look like much, but it could mean tens of thousands of dollars in repair costs because of the structural damage that might be behind it.”


To sign up for the “Great Southeast Shakeout,” click HERE.

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