Reactions to earthquake many and varied

Amish farm Ohio by Bruce Stambaugh
Life in Holmes County, Ohio went back to normal right after the earthquake on August 23.

By Bruce Stambaugh

The reactions to the reverberations of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that was felt in the Holmes County, Ohio area on August 23 varied according to individual circumstances. The quake was centered near Mineral, Va., but was felt more than 400 miles away.

Many in the area thought they were experiencing a sudden illness. Some weren’t sure what to think. A few knew that the shaking shortly before 2 p.m. was an earthquake. Others, especially those in vehicles, felt nothing at all.

It didn’t take people long to realize that the shaking was much more than something they felt personally. Some figured it out on their own, while others tuned to TV news, received text messages or saw it posted on social media.

Tim Roth, of Millersburg, said he was sitting in his recliner watching the Cleveland Indians baseball game when he felt the chair shake and the house creak. He wasn’t sure what was happening at first.

The press box at Progressive Field in Cleveland swayed east and west for 30 seconds, stopped briefly, and then shook again, but not as long or as hard. Fans in the upper deck sensed the shaking, too, but were reassured by ushers. The baseball game between the Indians and the Seattle Mariners continued uninterrupted.

Greta Monter, of rural Millersburg, was lying on her couch and suddenly felt her heart race. A registered nurse, she at first thought she was having a medical health issue, but then realized it was more than just her heart.

Lora Stackpole Erclauz, of Lakeville, said she felt just a slight shaking. She said at first she thought it was vertigo, called her husband and he had felt it, too.

Rita Baughman-Dawson said she thought a train had wrecked and fell off of the tracks. She said it was a very eerie feeling.

Mike Pacula, the band director at West Holmes Middle School, said he was at his desk in his office and noticed his chair rocking and his computer monitor wobbling.

Karen Reitz Miller was in her home in Millersburg when the windows began to rattle a little and the house creaked. She said it sounded like someone was on her roof. She turned on the TV and learned of the earthquake.

Joe Heatwole, who lives in Dalton, was on the second floor of Valley View Oak near Mt. Hope when he felt the floor begin to shake. Another employee yelled that his computer monitor was shaking and the floor was moving. Heatwole said it was an exhilarating feeling to experience an earthquake for the first time.

Arlene Yoder, a nurse from Baltic, was at the doctor’s office where she works in Dover. Yoder said their patients were relieved to know that the medical staff also felt the floor shake, too.

Dana Ely-Keiffer reported that it felt like someone was shaking the recliner she was in at the Smith Ambulance office in New Philadelphia.

“I accused my partner of it until I realized he was on the other side of the room,” she said. “He was thinking I was shaking him.”

The Commercial and Savings Bank four-story building in Millersburg was evacuated as a precaution. Employees and customers were allowed back in after a brief wait outside.

Across the street at the Holmes County Education Foundation, Anna Patton reported that the window blinds moved back and forth.

Some buildings in Columbus were also evacuated as a precaution.

The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office reported receiving a few calls from around the county about the trembler. No damage was reported.

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