Mineral Center of Aftershock

by Frank Hammon/Deirdre Blake posted Jul 31 2012 9:11AM
Some central Virginians might have been rattled early Tuesday morning. 
A 2.4 earthquake after shock  happened at 12:43 a.m. It was centered southeast of Mineral, near the epicenter of the 5.8 magnitude quake last August.
Geophysicist Don Blakeman with the U.S. Geological Survey says that all of the smaller tremblors that have been recorded since last August have been earthquakes. They are only called aftershocks based on their proximity to a main larger quake and the short time in which they happened after the main event. 
There have been no reportsof damage and Blakeman is not surprised. He says major damage in the U.S. usually does not happen until a tremblor of a 5.0 magnitude or higher strikes. That is not always the case in other countries, like China, where buildings are not as sturdy.
The U.S. G.S. often gets calls of people concerned that a smaller quake could be the sign of a larger one in the near future. Blakeman says that sometimes is and sometimes is not the case. Scientists are still unable to predict when a quake will hit.
Results of a recent study over the area in Louisa by a specially equiped plane to look at faults deep below the earth's surface is due out in the next few months. Officials are hopeful that it will help them better understand what causes earthquakes in the Central Virginia Seismic Zone and other less active areas of the United States.
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07/31/2012 9:11AM
Mineral Center of Aftershock
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