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South Whitehall Residents Feel Earthquake Centered in Virginia

It measured 5.8 on Richter scale, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

An earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale struck central Virginia at 1:51 p.m., the washingtonpost.com reported.

It was felt throughtout the Washington, New York City and North Carolina areas, but also in South Whitehall and West Allentown.

South Whitehall police said they received several phone calls from concerned residents who had felt the tremors but no problems were reported.

Tom Muller, Lehigh County director of administration, said the Government Center on Seventh Street in Allentown was evacuated as were many other buildings downtown. In the immediate aftermath, he said he hadn't heard of any county-owned bridges that had been damaged by the quake.

The Northampton County Emergency Communications Center reported that they received "quite a number of calls" from people who felt the quake. The county Emergency Management Services Director, Robert Mateff, said that Emergency Management staff will continue to monitor the situation throughout the day.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation crews are inspecting bridges in the state as a precaution.

“We have no reason to believe the Virginia earthquake caused major damage to any state roadways or bridges,” said Scott Christie, PennDOT’s Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration, in a prepared release. “But to err on the side of caution, we are assessing those bridges that could be susceptible to quake damage.” 

PennDOT will first inspect bridges that are at least 200 feet long or longer and at least 60-feet high. The inspections will continue through at least Wednesday. 

Patricia Ziegler-Boccadoro August 23, 2011 at 07:11 PM
My one dog was acting REALLY strange yesterday and today. He kept going outside and just standing there and when inside he would shake like he was upset. No rhyme or reason to it and then lo and behold I hear there was a quake. He's now laying on the couch asleep...I'll be paying very close attention to him from now one.
brenda August 23, 2011 at 09:36 PM
REALLY? Someone should be paying close attention to you!
WestEnd August 25, 2011 at 10:16 PM
LOL

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