Just before midnight Monday night, many Far West End residents were startled by a sonic boom and low rumbling sound. Reports came into us via Twitter after we asked if anyone else had felt the shaking as we did, right after it happened. We broke the story of a possible earthquake just after 1:30 a.m. […]
Just before midnight Monday night, many Far West End residents were startled by a sonic boom and low rumbling sound. Reports came into us via Twitter after we asked if anyone else had felt the shaking as we did, right after it happened. We broke the story of a possible earthquake just after 1:30 a.m. after gathering data and information.
“Reporting from the Short Pump Mall area, that definitely was an earthquake,” Twitter user “PaulaNQ” (@MentalMakeover) wrote into us. “I’ve felt one here before where the ‘earth moved.’”
“Yes, I felt it – A block from Regency Square Mall,” wrote another user, Chris Harrison (@britinva).
We pulled up seismological graphs from the University of Richmond and J. Seargant Reynolds Community College in Goochland and found the Goochland graph to be much more intensive (see chart below).
Sure enough, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) later confirmed our suspicions early Tuesday that a magnitude 2.3 earthquake hit the Short Pump area. The agency received reports filed by residents all over Central Virginia.
After plotting the coordinates given by the USGS, we found the exact epicenter of the quake, right underneath the home of Short Pump resident Mike Ford. Ford, who lives in the 12500 block of Hidden Oaks Court, awoke to the rumbling beneath his house.
“The bed shook just enough to wake me up, but it wasn’t that incredible of a sensation,” Ford said of the earthquake. “Both of my kids heard a boom and then felt the house shaking.”
Ford says he and his family have experienced three earthquakes over the past 15 years in their home. The most vigorous shaking the family experienced occurred in 2003 when a magnitude 4.5 earthquake struck.
The 2003 quake’s epicenter was pinpointed to Goochland County off Route 522 near Maidens, but the Fords felt the full brunt of it, noting that they had slight cracks in the sheetrock following the event.
“That one was frightening,” Ford said of the 2003 quake. “[Today’s] was more of an annoyance.”
“I’m gonna get a brass plate over the door that says ‘epicenter,’” Ford joked as he was interviewed by WRIC-TV reporter Morgan Dean.
“It was sorta funny because we were Googling [news about the earthquake] and all of a sudden the media showed up and said we were the epicenter.”
We went along as Morgan Dean interviewed Mike Ford. Check out more of Ford’s reactions in the Downtown Short Pump Video Presentation below.
Click here to view the embedded video.