East Coast earthquake created a 'new normal'

7:26 AM, Aug 23, 2012   |    comments
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By Steve Szkotak and Ben Nuckols, Associated Press

MINERAL, Va. (AP) -- A Virginia-centered earthquake that rattled the East Coast one year ago has changed the way officials view emergency preparedness.

Emergency response plans that focused on hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and snow have been or are being amended to include earthquakes.

Some states have enacted laws specifically related to the earthquake, and there is anecdotal evidence of a spike in insurance coverage for earthquake damage.

The quake was centered 3 to 4 miles beneath Mineral, a central Virginia town of fewer than 500 people northwest of Richmond. But it was believed to have been felt by more people than any other in U.S. history.

The damage was estimated at more than $200 million. In the nation's capital, the Washington Monument sustained several large cracks and remains closed indefinitely for repairs.

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