Earthquake tremors shook Carroll Community College last Tuesday leaving many students and faculty in awe. The tremors, which reports say was due to a size 5.8 Earthquake in Virginia, caused many people to lose cell phone service and had Carroll facilities employees searching for any potential damage.
“I thought something fell from the sky,” said Jinkins Ndip, a student at Carroll. “It was surprising and scary. You wake up and think it’s just going to be a normal day.”
Many of the students and faculty who were shaken by the earthquake did not know what to think. “I think there was a bit of confusion because we don’t get earthquakes,” said Corey Shaver, student. “The windows were shaking in their frames and I thought “I got to get out of here.”
Shawntay Stocks, Coordinator of Service-Learning and Internships, joked that she was “Quite shaken.” Like many who were at the college this was their first experience with an earthquake. “The nerves are still there.”
The epicenter of the 5.8 earthquake was about 40 miles northwest of Richmond, Virginia. Tremors were felt all across the east coast including Washington D.C, where government buildings were evacuated. The earthquake also caused damage to the Washington Monument. The four foot crack, which was found via helicopter inspection, will close the monument indefinitely.
For Sue Sivert, Administrative Associate for Student-Life, earthquakes were nothing new as she lived in California before moving to Maryland but this was more than she was used to. “That was stronger than anything that I felt in California. It was a little scary.” Sue was grateful that the college responded so quickly especially when Alan Schuman, Executive Vice President, came over the loud speaker and told everyone to evacuate the building.
After the people returned to the building Alan Schuman began coordinating the effort to assess the damage to the school; so far none has been found. Despite the fact that there was an earthquake going on around him Schuman acted quickly. “We simply wanted to get people out and away from the building as quick as possible,” Schuman said. “The reflective time came after the event was over.”
Perhaps the unsung heroes of the day will be people like Alan Schuman and the Public Safety Officers like Officer Mike Conners, who helped evacuate the building. “I thought a helicopter was going to crash into the college. The whole building was shaking,” Officer Conners said. When asked what his first reaction was he replied “I have to get these people out of the building.”
Dr. Faye Pappalardo, President of Carroll Community College, who had pictures in her office shaken so much that they fell to the ground, was thankful to the people who responded. “I’m grateful for the people who acted quickly. Very grateful.” Asked to describe the earthquake, Dr. Pappalardo summed it up in one word. “Unbelievable.”