The quake began at 1:51 p.m. and had a magnitude of 5.9, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's website.
The quake was the largest in Virginia since May 5, 1897, the USGS said. It was felt as far north as Rhode Island and New York City.
The USGS 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 in Louisa County.
In the moments after the earthquake, The News & Advance received calls and emails from people who felt it in Evington, Fairview Heights, Monroe, Campbell County, Appomattox, Nelson County, Clifford, Goode, Bedford and Lynchburg.
No significant damage has been reported as of 2:20 p.m.
Lynchburg's Emergency Communications Center received 188 calls in the 40 minutes after the quake, most from people asking if it was in fact an earthquake.
American Electric Power has heard no reports of outages, said utility company spokesman John Shepelwich.
The North Anna nuclear power plant was manually shut down.
Roanoke County evacuated its schools.
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