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Tsunami from Virginia Earthquake?

ev0201182317513
Map of where earthquake hit / NOAA
ev0201182317513
Map of where earthquake hit / NOAA

U.S. officials say there’s no threat of a tsunami along the East Coast after a tremor shakes the the East Coast.

At 1:51 p.m. today, an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 occured near Richmond,Virginia. Tremors could be felt from North Carolina and all the way up to Toronto, Canada.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake had a depth of about 3.7 miles.

The National Weather Service’s West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said that the quake was far enough inland that it would not trigger a tsunami.  The statement went on to read, “However, in coastal areas of intense shaking, locally generated tsunamis can be triggered by underwater landslides.”

According to the USGS, earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S., although less frequent than in the western U.S., are typically felt over a much broader region and that east of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area as much as ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast.

“This is a relatively big earthquake for the Eastern U.S.,” said Daniel Davis, a professor of geophysics at Stony Brook University. “The Eastern U.S. is extremely efficient at transmitting seismic waves over these kinds of distances, its better at it then the west. So you have an equal size earthquake here and in the west, you will feel it better and further in the east.”

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