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That shake was an earthquake

Published: Tue, August 23, 2011 @ 2:16 p.m.

If you felt a shake, it was indeed a pretty significant earthquake.

A 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit West Virginia at 1:51 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, and the aftershock was felt as far west as Columbus, said E. Mac Swinford, assistant state geologist with the Ohio Division of Natural Resources.

“The nature of the geology of the Midwest is that it is uninterrupted bed rock units, so the energy travels great distance unlike California, where the rocks are all busted up and the energy lessens quickly,” Swinford said.

Swinford said at about 1:57 p.m., the aftershocks were felt on the 10th floor of a building in Columbus.

If a 5.8-magnitude earthquake had an epicenter in Ohio, Swinford said it would have set a state record. The most impactful was a 5.4-magnitude in 1937.

The Mahoning Valley’s most recent earthquake was a magnitude 2.6 back on March 17.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injury in the Valley. The county-owned Oakhill Renaissance Place, famously evacuated in the last quake, was evacuated again, according to a Vindicator photographer.The J.C. Penneys store in the Eastwood Mall in Niles was also reportedly evacuated briefly, a mall official said.

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