By Taylor Sisk
An earthquake on Tuesday that registered 5.9 on the Richter scale at its epicenter in Mineral, Va., some 40 miles east of Charlottesville, was felt here, but no damage was reported.
A rumble was afoot at 1:52 p.m., with Carrborites reporting a rush of wind, rattling glass and slightly queasy stomachs, but no aftereffects. The quake was felt from New Hampshire down to the Wilmington area.
â€œThere was no report of damage or injuries here as a result of the tremors,â€ said Darshan Patel, Orange Countyâ€™s emergency management coordinator.
Patel said that 100 to 150 calls were received in the first five or so minutes post-rumble, most of which were to ensure emergency-services personnel were aware something had occurred.
Chris Atack with the Carrboro Police Department said they too had received numerous calls in the wake of the quake but no reports of damage or injury.
â€œWeâ€™re just treating it as an interesting footnote to history,â€ he said.
Many here had never before experienced an earthquake. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the biggest earthquake on record centered within 100 miles of Carrboro-Chapel Hill was a 3.7-magnitude rumbler in 2006.
The most property damage in the state attributed to an earthquake was the result of a quake centered in Charleston, S.C., on Aug. 31, 1886. Some 60 people were killed in that area, and a number of locations in the state, including Hillsborough and Raleigh, reported downed chimneys and cracked walls.
USGS data indicates that there is a 0.301 percent chance of a major earthquake within 50 kilometers of Carrboro-Chapel Hill within the next half-century.
Orange County information specialist David Hunt said that an emergency plan designed for most any major incident would fall into place in the event of a serious earthquake.
Atack echoed that for the town of Carrboro. â€œThat plan primarily involves rescue and getting folks to a safe location,â€ he said.