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Mine Roof Falls Recorded as Earthquake in Southwest Virginia



February 14, 2021 - What was originally classified as an earthquake in Richlands, VA has been reclassified as a as series of mine collapses.

The United States Geological Survey originally recorded a 2.9 magnitude earthquake 5.6 miles north-northeast of Richlands at a depth of 3.1 miles around 10:54 p.m. Feb. 11. During the afternoon of Feb. 12 the USGS reclassified the quake as a series of three mine collapses.

 One was recorded at 2.1, another at 2.4 and the final one at 2.6.  Tarah Kesterson, public relations manager for the Virginia department of Mines, Minerals and Energy said two rock falls at the Buchanan One Mine were recorded as earthquakes.

She said one happened at 7:47 p.m.  and the other at 7:51 p.m. One measured at 2.1 on the seismograph and the other at 2.4. No information was reported on the one measuring 2.6.

The DMME was notified of the collapses in the active mine and Kesterson said they happened in an area that had already been mined and there were no workers present. There was no damage from the fall and no one was injured.

Kesterson said rock falls are not uncommon in areas where the coal has been mined.