A magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck Virginia a few minutes ago, and aftershocks were felt all over the East Coast, from Maryland to Massachusetts, including New York City. And you thought you were safe moving to the northeast… there’s a first time for everything!

In case you grew up here your entire lives and are confused by this whole phenomenon, here’s a little educational video for you:

Update, 3:20 PM: Not to be upstaged by the scores of NYC responses to the earthquake (mainly on Twitter), Columbia Facilities’ Joe Ienuso sent out the following email to reassure any shellshocked Columbians still in the city this summer.

Dear Columbia Community,

The U.S. Geological Survey reports an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 centered in northern Virginia that has been felt here in New York City, including on Columbia’s campuses. Public Safety and Facilities are checking all University buildings and there has been no reported damage. We believe that those who prudently self-evacuated can safely re-enter their buildings and continue normal operations if they have not already done so.

We will provide updates of any new information on the University homepage, www.columbia.edu.


Joe Ienuso
Executive Vice President for Columbia University Facilities