The Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. was slightly shaken but not damaged by the 5.8 earthquake centered in Virginia at 1:51 p.m. on August 23. BSC employees headed for safety in doorways as buildings on campus shook and the ground rumbled for several seconds.
Shortly after the incident, upon learning that the epicenter was located in central Virginia, Brethren Disaster Ministries staff in New Windsor called the Virlina and Shenandoah District offices in Virginia to check on their wellbeing. Staff at both locations indicated that they felt the tremors fairly strongly but were unharmed.
Sandy Kinsey, administrative assistant for the Shenandoah District, reported that there is damage in Charlottesville, about 27 mi. west of the epicenter. BDM has offered assistance with any needs that arise as a result of the disaster.
BDM staff also spoke with project leaders at the Pulaski, Va. tornado recovery project and was assured that everyone there was alright.
Zach Wolgemuth, BDM associate director, was on a conference call with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) when the quake hit. FEMA personnel in Washington, DC “dropped off the line only to return a few minutes later and inform us they needed to evacuate,” he said.
This was the strongest earthquake to hit Virginia since a 5.9 trembler in 1897 and was felt from Georgia to Massachusetts.