On Aug 23, 2011, Virginia experienced an earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter Scale -- the largest quake to have occurred in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains in more than 100 years.

Though the epicenter was 40 miles northwest of Richmond, the earthquake was felt in Blacksburg and other Virginia Tech campuses. 

The event underscores the importance of earthquake preparedness.

On Thursday, Oct. 18, Virginia Tech will participate in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut, an extension of the Great ShakeOut movement that started in California and has grown to incorporate other areas including British Columbia, New Zealand, and Japan. At 10:18 a.m., participants are encouraged to stop what they are doing and practice what to do the next time the ground shakes.

What to do in the event of an earthquake

If an earthquake were to occur on campus, take cover immediately under a desk or table, between seating rows in lecture halls, or against corridor walls. Drop and cover your head for protection from falling debris. Do not try to evacuate the building until the tremors have stopped; most fatalities are from moving around during an earthquake.

Be alert for aftershocks and calmly evacuate the building, if necessary, after the shaking stops. Do not pull fire alarms. Once outside, stay away from buildings, poles, and other structures that could overturn and follow directions from emergency personnel.

To learn more about earthquake preparedness and other emergency responses at Virginia Tech, visit the Emergency Management website or contact Kendall Woodard at 540-231-7659.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Share this story