As Hurricane Irene tracks towards the US Eastern seaboard threatening to unleash destruction, first Colorado and then in quick succession Virginia experiences substantial earthquakes.


There are fears that Irene will possibly make a landfall over the North Carolina coast and then move north to Chesapeake Bay to arrive sometime on Sunday. But as ever with hurricanes the route and timings are very uncertain.

What was certain though, was that Southern Colorado was yesterday hit by a magnitude 5.3 earthquake. It caused minor shaking and damage and was felt in neighbouring states. This was the largest earthquake in Colorado since August 1967 at Rocky Mountain Arsenal. Previous to this the largest ever recorded earthquake in Colorado was an estimated magnitude 6.5 near Rocky Mountain National Park.

Then today a magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit Virginia, 34 miles North West of Richmond, Virginia's Capital, and 87 miles from Washington. But its effects were felt as far across the east coast and resulted in buildings being evacuated in New York.

There are no immediate reports of any casualties from this latest 'quake.

The epicentre, according to the US Geological Society was about half a mile (800 metres) deep.

Some reports say that the tremors from it were felt in Toronto Canada. And Martha's Vineyard, where President Obama is on holiday and was just starting a round of golf, also felt the effects.

Parts of the Pentagon, Capitol and the White House have also been evacuated.

The previous largest earthquake (www.geol.vt.edu/outreach/vtso/VA-Eq.html) in this specific region was a magnitude 4.5 in 1875. But there was a 5.8 in Giles County in 1897.

They say that troubles come in threes! Let's hope there's no more.

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