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Earthquake aftershocks hit 50 in Louisa

Earthquake aftershocks hit 50 in Louisa

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More than three months later, Louisa County continues to be rattled by aftershocks from the second-largest earthquake recorded in Virginia.

An aftershock measuring magnitude 2.1 early Monday morning put the total number of temblors at 50 since the first one — a magnitude-5.8 quake on Aug. 23.

The aftershock, recorded at 12:25 a.m. about 9 miles southwest of the town of Louisa, was the fifth in less than three days. The U.S. Geological Survey also measured temblors of magnitude 2.4 and 2.3 last Saturday, and magnitude 1.8 and 1.9 on Sunday.

State officials say the aftershocks aren't strong enough to cause extensive damage on their own, but that doesn't mean they aren't having an effect.

"It probably makes the existing damage worse," said Robert A. Spieldenner, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

Continuing damage from aftershocks helped the state persuade the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reverse its initial decision to deny federal aid to individuals who had suffered damage from the Aug. 23 earthquake.

Spieldenner said state teams soon may begin looking at evidence of damage in other counties affected by the earthquake, including Spotsylvania, Goochland and Fluvanna.

In addition to individual assistance to people in Louisa, FEMA has approved aid for public damage and costs in Louisa and Spotsylvania.

The aftershocks haven't affected the North Anna nuclear plant, which is about 11 miles from the epicenter of the first earthquake. The plant's two nuclear reactors just returned to service after shutting down from ground vibrations Aug. 23.

Dominion Virginia Power spokesman Jim Norvelle said the aftershocks last weekend weren't felt at the plant.

"They had no effect on the station," Norvelle said.


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