.

UPDATE: Exelon Terminates Unusual Event Status

USGS reports a magnitude 5.9 earthquake centered in Virginia.

UPDATED 8/23/11 @ 6:30 p.m.

Another official release from Exelon Nuclear concerning the earthquake:

All Four Stations Continue to Operate Safely, Plant Inspections Continue Following Regional Seismic Activity

KENNETT SQUARE – By approximately 5:45 p.m. today, Exelon Nuclear had terminated the “unusual event” declarations at all four of its Mid-Atlantic nuclear stations. The declarations were issued earlier today at Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Three Mile Island Unit 1 and Limerick Generating Station in Pennsylvania, and Oyster Creek Generating Station in New Jersey.

The declarations were issued earlier today at Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Three Mile Island Unit 1 and Limerick Generating Station in Pennsylvania, and Oyster Creek Generating Station in
New Jersey.

An “Unusual Event” is the lowest level emergency classification as determined by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Operators have performed “walk-downs” to identify any potential effects from the seismic activity and will continue to monitor conditions, but no damage to equipment or impact to plant operations
has been identified. All four plants continued to operate at normal power throughout the event, and no evacuations or additional safety measures were required.

UPDATED 8/23/11 @ 4:35 p.m.

An official release from Exelon...

All Four Exelon Nuclear Mid-Atlantic Plants Operating Safely Following Regional Seismic Activity

KENNETT SQUARE - None of Exelon Nuclear's four Mid-Atlantic nuclear energy stations was affected by this afternoon’s seismic activity in Virginia, and all continue to operate
safely at this time. An “Unusual Event” was declared at each of the stations following the seismic activity, in accordance with plant procedures: Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Three Mile Island
Generating Station and Limerick Generating Station in Pennsylvania, and Oyster Creek Generating Station in New Jersey.

Plant equipment continued to function normally at each of the Exelon Nuclear stations. Operators are currently performing "walk-downs" to identify any potential affects from the seismic activity, but no
damage to equipment or plant operations has been identified at this time. Each plant continued to operate at normal power level throughout the event and no evacuations or additional safety measures were required.

Nuclear energy plants are designed specifically to withstand the impact of earthquakes and other severe acts of nature. The earthquake, reported to be at a magnitude of 5.9 on the Richter Scale, did not
challenge the engineered design of the Exelon facilities.

An “Unusual Event” is the lowest level emergency classifications as determined by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

UPDATED 8/23/11 @ 3:15 p.m.

Due to earthquake, SEPTA trains will be restricted to 25 mph until tracks can be checked for structural damage.

Spring-Ford High School athletics practices are still being held this afternoon. No cancelations have been reported.

UPDATED 8/23/11 @ 2:50 p.m.

Limerick Generating Station Site Communications Manager Joe Szafran has reported to Patch that the power plant is safe after the earthquake.

"The units are operating online safely," Szafran said. "Right now, when we experience a seismic event like we did, we have procedures that we follow that include a walk-down of plant equipment. We are in the middle of getting that started and doing that as we speak. The plant is continuing to operate safely throughout the event and are still operating safely at full power and 100-percent. That's where we're at now."

ORIGINAL POST

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered near Louisa, Va., sent tremors through the Malvern area Tuesday afternoon. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the quake struck at 1:51 p.m.

The "poorly constrained" quake lasted approximately five seconds.

Tammi Karafa Bivans of Royersford wrote via Facebook:

My entire house just shook!

LRSC Patch's own Molly Lozinak texted in:

My neighbors just ran outside. I was outside sitting on the step and the whole ground and walls just shook. THe outside of the house cracked horizontally and all circuits are busy when I try to make phone calls.

The Washington Post is reporting that what we experienced was a foreshock and that the aftershock could be worse.

From Other Patches

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake that originated in Virginia was felt in Pottstown early this afternoon, according to AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Mike Pigott.

"It was about 41 miles northwest of Virginia ... 83 miles southwest of Washington, D.C.," he said. 

The quake centered around the towns Mineral and Louisa, Va., he said.

Pigott said Pottstown felt tremors from the quake, but it's difficult to define the degree of the shakes.

"You can't really measure that," he said. 

The quake is likely to deliver more action, he said.

"With an earthquake as large as this one, it's likely there will be ... aftershocks," he said.

Other areas of the country are also dealing with the quake's aftermath.

Patch Regional Editor Amy L. Kovac-Ashley reported that cell phone service was out in parts of Maryland.

Fox.news.com reports that parts of New York are being evacuated.

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