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Rumble from Virginia Earthquake Felt in Parts of Galloway

The 5.9 magnitude earthquake was felt in Galloway Township.

Rumble from Virginia Earthquake Felt in Parts of Galloway Rumble from Virginia Earthquake Felt in Parts of Galloway

That rumble that passed through South Jersey just before 2 p.m. wasn't in your imagination.

A 5.9-magnitude earthquake that struck 4 miles from Mineral, VA, 1:52 p.m. Tuesday could be felt up and down the eastern seaboard—including in Galloway Township.

A meteorologist from the National Weather Center said his office is still "piecing together" what happened and any possible local effect. He declined to comment on whether coastal NJ could be affected by waves from the earthquake.

The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management is reporting very few incidents of damage to any infrastructure in the state. It is reporting that roadways, bridges and tunnels all seem to be intact, and that although aftershocks can't be ruled out, the distance from the epicenter of the quake indicates there is no need for great concern among New Jersey residents.

Phone lines across the township are down at this time, although those at the municipal complex are up and running.

According to Galloway EMS, there are no reports of damages.

"We are continuing to monitor the situation, but we haven't seen anything yet," Chief Chuck Uhl said.

"We have received numerous phone calls and have been in contact with Mike Brandenberger, our Emergency Management Coordinator," Township Manager Steve Bonanni said. "He stated the Atlantic County Emergency Management office has no recommendations (for Galloway) at this time. All our department heads and supervisors have been brought up to date."

AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center didn't report any interruptions in service, including surgery, although the phone lines were down briefly.

"We opened our command center at the city campus briefly," AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Director of Public Relations Jennifer Tornetta said. "We communicate with local, state and national emergency services, and we're still monitoring the situation with them."

All children involved in community activities at the community services center at Glenn By the Bay are safe, Deputy Director of Public Works Division of Community Services Beth Stasuk said.

Meanwhile, the tremors were felt throughout the township.

"The house was creaking and the chandeliers were rocking," resident Antoinette Murphy said. "The phones weren't working for 10 minutes, but they are now."

"Cell phones and lines are down," resident Jaime O'Brien said. "In Northfield, my husband said his whole desk shook, and in Galloway, my whole house moved."

"All the stores in Smithville felt it," Ireland and Old Lace owner Kelly Coleman said. "My crystal was shaking and the counter was swaying. Everyone's display racks were moving."

"We experienced it in the school district," Galloway Township Public Schools Communications Officer Joanna Westcott said. "It was very exciting and got our office buzzing, that's for sure!"

"Kids were jumping on the trampoline when it happened," said resident Karen Jones, who said she felt it slightly. "Phones are down in the house and the cell phones are slow to connect."

"Balsley Losco in Northfield had its whole building shaking," resident Felicia Niven said. "I was on the phone with one of the employees when she told me. I, however, did not feel it."

"We felt it here at the club," Vice President and General Manager of Tilton Fitness Julie Dods said. "It was the strongest earthquake I have felt on the east coast."

Tim Kelly, of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Public Relations Department, was at the new Virtua Hospital in Voorhees and said the "whole building was moving."

But not everyone felt it.

"I didn't feel anything at my home in Galloway, but my family in Toms River did," resident Alison Briant-Burley said.

"Everyone that was in our office felt it," said Mary Lou Frick of Century 21 Frick Realtors. "Some felt light headed, sick, kind of like vertigo. ... I personally was in the building next door and didn't feel a thing. How that's possible, I don't know. Everyone is OK, but it was scary for a bit."


Check back with Patch for more information.

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