At the epicenter: Veterinarian recounts experience following today's 5.8 earthquake in the Northeast

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Mineral, Va. -- The building just started shaking, says veterinarian Daniel Slovis, whose practice was just a few miles from the epicenter of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that impacted much of the Northeast today.

Mineral, Va. –

The building just started shaking, recalls veterinarian Daniel Slovis, whose Lake Anna Veterinary Hospital was just a few miles from the epicenter of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that impacted much of the Northeast today.

Luckily, Slovis says, he was not in surgery at the time the earthquake hit.

The 30 seconds following the 1:51 p.m. earthquake, as measured by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), were intense, Slovis recalls. "We were lucky, there was only one animal here, and I had already completed surgery on it. So we just grabbed the animal and went outside (when the earthquake hit)."

The tremors from this earthquake were felt as far north as Boston and as far west as Cleveland, impacting major metropolitan areas in its path including Washington, D.C, Baltimore and New York City.

Back in Mineral, residents of the small Virginia community lost power and cell phone lines following the earthquake. While the area's nuclear power plant was taken offline temporarily, there was no serious damage reported.

Slovis says his veterinary practice only suffered minor damage from the earthquake, but neighboring stores weren't so lucky. In fact, the grocery store next door to his practice had some structural damage and lost merchandise.

Several aftershocks have been recorded following this geologic event, according to USGS.

The earthquake occurred in the Central Virginia Seismic Zone. The most notable earthquake on record for this area occurred in 1875 and was recorded as a magnitude 4.5, according to USGS.

Today's earthquake nearly topped the strongest recorded earthquake in Virginia, which was a magnitude 5.9 occurring in May 1897 in Giles County, Va. The strongest recorded earthquake to strike the East Coast was in 1886 in Charleston, S.C., which was recorded as a magnitude 7.3, USGS reports.

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