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Va. earthquake felt locally, across northeast

August 23, 2011

ST. MARYS - Many residents of Elk County felt tremors from an earthquake that originated in Virginia at about 1:50 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon.
A seismometer housed in the administrative building at Penn State DuBois recorded readings from the 5.8 magnitude earthquake, whose epicenter was in Mineral, Va., a small town about about 90 miles southwest of Washington, D.C.
The device is part of a Penn State network which feeds into a global network of seismic stations, all of which are used to record geophysical activity, including Marcellus Shale drilling. Many students and faculty on campus said they felt the tremor.
Employees inside the Community Education Council building in downtown St. Marys self-evacuated themselves for approximately 15 minutes in order to evaluate the building, which did not appear to have any lasting structural damage.
Tracey (Geci) Duncan, a St. Marys native who resides in Aliquippa, Pa., was filling in as a court stenographer inside the Cameron County Courthouse in Emporium at the time of the earthquake. While Duncan said she did not feel the quake, Judge Masson, who was seated only a few feet away from her at the time, said he did feel the tremor.
"I never thought I'd be in the Cameron County Courthouse when an earthquake hit. The scales of justice were definitely tipping today," Duncan said, referring to witnessing the scales moving on a Lady Justice statue inside the building as a result of the quake's aftershock.

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