Bethelites felt the effects of a reported 5.9 magnitude earthquake that hit outside of Richmond, Va. around 2 p.m. Tuesday.
According to the AP, "the U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was 3.7 miles deep. Shaking was felt at the White House and all over the East Coast, as far south as Chapel Hill, N.C. Parts of the Pentagon, White House and Capitol were evacuated. The quake was in Mineral, Va., in Louisa County."
In Bethel, the Clifford J. Hurgin Municipal Center was briefly evacuated after town employees felt the quake.
First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker confirmed that the building is being evacuated and checked by the building manager as a "precaution" and that everything appeared to "be okay."
"Employees said they felt the shake, some chairs and bookcases shook, but there's no damage," he said just after 2 p.m. "We expect to be back inside in around 20 minutes or so."
So far, there have been no reports of damages or injuries in Bethel as a result of the quake. As of 2:20 p.m., the police and fire departments reported some calls were made to find out what was going on, but no emergencies.
Several residents claim to have felt the earthquake, from downtown, Grassy Plain Street and Stony Hill, but others nothing.
On the Bethel Patch Facebook page, Patricia Kurtz Forger said: "How bizarre - I called my husband who is on Old Hawlevyille and he felt nothing - we're right down from Kristy Drive. The earthquake was felt in Boston, New Haven, Bloomfield, Virginia, DC - whole east coast!"
After the quake, Governor Dannel P. Malloy released the following statement:
“The movement people in Connecticut felt was associated with the earthquake which originated in Virginia. Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection staff is at the Emergency Operations Center as a precaution, but at this point, there have been no reports of injury or damage.”