Earthquake In Annapolis

| August 23, 2011 | 0 Comments

For most current updates from Eye On Annapolis, please follow us on Twitter or watch the feed to the right of our logo. Please share this article with your facebook friends, twitter followers, and google by clicking the icons to the left.

UPDATE From Anne Arundel County Public Schools:

Hello parents, this is Anne Arundel County Public Schools calling to update you on the status of schools tomorrow in light of today’s earthquake. Since this afternoon, principals, administrators, and school facilities personnel have been inspecting schools for evidence of damage. Thus far, we have found no significant damage. While there may be isolated areas temporarily off limits to students tomorrow, all Anne Arundel County Public Schools will open on time tomorrow, Wednesday, August 24. One other note: An air conditioning unit failure is causing intermittent outages on our website, and we ask for your patience with accessing the site.

UPDATE: From Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold:

County Executive John R. Leopold is reporting no major injuries or property damage resulting from today’s 5.8-magnitude earthquake. Residents are urged, however, to be prepared for possible aftershocks.

“We are relieved that no widespread injuries or property damage resulted from this unusual event,” County Executive Leopold said. “We do want to urge citizens as they return home to be aware aftershocks can occur, and to use caution when entering their homes.”

Anne Arundel Medical Center, Baltimore-Washington Medical Center, the Arundel Center and the Heritage Office Complex on Riva Road have been inspected and cleared for entry. County offices and parks were closed at 2 p.m. today. The Emergency Operations Center will deactivate at 8 p.m. County offices are expected to open on time tomorrow.

Please be aware of the following tips:

  • Leave the gas on at the main valve, unless you smell gas or think it’s leaking. Explosions have caused injury and death when homeowners have improperly turned their gas back on by themselves.
  • Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately. Avoid the hazard of a chemical emergency.
  • Open closet and cabinet doors cautiously. Contents may have shifted during the shaking of an earthquake and could fall, creating further damage or injury.
  • Inspect your home for damage. Get everyone out if your home is unsafe. Aftershocks following earthquakes can cause further damage to unstable buildings. If your home has experienced damage, get out before aftershocks happen.
  • Help neighbors who may require special assistance. Elderly people and people with disabilities may require additional assistance. People who care for them or who have large families may need additional assistance in emergency situations.
  • Listen to a portable, battery-operated radio (or television) for updated emergency information and instructions. If the electricity is out, this may be your main source of information. Local radio and local officials provide the most appropriate advice for your particular situation.
  • Expect aftershocks. Each time you feel one, drop, cover and hold on. Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks, and even months following an earthquake.
  • Watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines, and stay out of damaged areas. Hazards caused by earthquakes are often difficult to see, and you could be easily injured.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings. Damaged buildings may be destroyed by aftershocks following the main quake.
  • Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights to inspect your home. Kerosene lanterns, torches, candles and matches may tip over or ignite flammables inside.
  • Inspect the entire length of chimneys carefully for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to fire or injury from falling debris during an aftershock. Cracks in chimneys can be the cause of a fire years later.
  • Take pictures of the damage, both to the house and its contents, for insurance claims.
  • When entering buildings, use extreme caution. Building damage may have occurred where you least expect it. Carefully watch every step you take.
  • Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard. The behavior of pets may change dramatically after an earthquake. Normally quiet and friendly cats and dogs may become aggressive or defensive.

UPDATE: From the Historic Annapolis Foundation:

Earthquake today did substantial damage to the chimneys of the Historic Annapolis Museum, 99 Main Street. Building closed until further notice. Other damage to our sites include new cracks the brick work of several buildings, larger cracks in a few support beams, a collapsed office bookcase, pictures & mirrors askew, and a few frazzled nerves.

Damage to chimney for Historic Annapolis Foundation. (Photo: HAF Facebook page)

UPDATE: Per Deborah Goode from the Unites States Naval Academy, there is no significant damage to any buildings on the grounds of the United States Naval Academy. However, two buildings (commissary and exchange) at the Naval Support Activity Annapolis have been closed. They are currently inspecting to determine the extent of the damage. These buildings are across the Severn River from the US Naval Academy.

UPDATE: Damage inside the Safeway on Forest Drive sent in from an Eye On Annapolis reader:

UPDATE: From our friends over at Historic Annapolis Patch, Dock Street is still cordoned off:

City Dock bar closed off after earthquake. (Photo: Historic Annapolis Patch)

UPDATE: From Annapolis City Hall:

Annapolis Mayor Joshua J. Cohen has announced the Office of Emergency Management has activated its Emergency Operation Center and phone line for public inquiries and other non-emergency calls related to the earthquake. The number is 410-260-2211.

The EOC, which is located at the Police Department headquarters, will be operating full time with senior City staff.

Annapolis experienced the effects of a 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered in Mineral, Virginia, 50 miles Northwest of Richmond.

“I am asking all residents to monitor the news and be aware that aftershocks are likely,” said Mayor Cohen. “Since such a large area is being affected, the police need you to minimize cell phone use, allowing open lines for emergency personal.”

Annapolis Police are patrolling the area for any extensive damage to roads or buildings, with a focus on the historic district, due to the age of the buildings.

Local damage reports are coming into the EOC and building inspectors are responding to reports. There are currently no reports of injury associated with the earthquake.

For more information, go to www.annapolis.gov and listen to 1430 WNAV radio for update.

UPDATE: From BGE, it appears there is no damage to facilities:

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today announced that preliminarily, it appears that its natural gas and electric systems are operating properly following today’s earthquake.

The utility is in the process of conducting a thorough inspection of its facilities to determine any possible impact. The safety of BGE’s employees and customers is its number one priority.

 

UPDATE: The following photos was sent by a reader of minor chimney damage in the historic section of Annapolis.

UPDATE: Anne Arundel County Schools finally issued a statement regarding the evacuations at 2:51pm:

Hello parents, this is Anne Arundel County Public Schools calling with urgent information about precautions being taken in the wake of this afternoon’s tremors. First, all school buildings were evacuated and students are re-entering as buildings are being cleared. High school buses were dismissed on a normal schedule and at this time we anticipate middle and elementary schools dismissing at the normal times. AS A PRECAUTION, ALL ACTIVITIES IN AACPS BUILDINGS THIS EVENING, INCLUDING ATHLETICS AND SCHOOL-AGE CHILD CARE, ARE CANCELED. Once again, all school buildings were evacuated and students are re-entering as buildings are being cleared. High school buses were dismissed on a normal schedule and at this time we anticipate middle and elementary schools dismissing at the normal times. AS A PRECAUTION, ALL ACTIVITIES IN AACPS BUILDINGS THIS EVENING, INCLUDING ATHLETICS AND SCHOOL-AGE CHILD CARE, ARE CANCELED. We will convey more information as we have it. Thank you.

UPDATE:  Earthquake was centered in VA and was 5.9 on the Richter Scale.

A significant earthquake just shook the Annapolis area. Reports are coming in that it was felt in Edgewater. In our office, photos were knocked off shelves.

Reports coming in from New York and North Carolina that the entire east coast felt the tremor. It lasted about 15 seconds.

Verizon cell coverage appears to be impacted

Developing!

 

 

Tags: , ,

Category: Breaking News, NEWS

About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news--and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009. John's background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.