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Small Earthquake Hits Southwest Virginia

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By Matt McCleskey

Some people in Virginia got a surprise overnight when a minor earthquake struck the southwest part of the state. The U.S. Geological Survey says last night's magnitude 2.5 quake struck just after midnight about eight miles northwest of the town of Richlands, Virginia. There have been no reports of damage.

It's rare to feel earthquakes in the state, but certainly not unheard of. The biggest earthquake on record in Virginia happened in 1897 and had a magnitude of 5.9. The epicenter was in Giles County west of Blacksburg.

There have also been quakes closer to the Washington region, one in May of 2008 was centered near Annandale and measured 2.0. Another in 2003 about thirty miles west of Richmond measured 4.5 and was felt over most of the state, as well as in the District.

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