Earthquake Damage Worse Than McDonnell, Cantor Imagined

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Clean up is under way right now in Mineral, Va., the small town, where folks saw the worst of the quake.

    Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor toured damaged schools and businesses near the epicenter of Tuesday's magnitude 5.8 earthquake -- which is in Cantor's district -- and said it's worse than they'd imagined.

    The two Republicans called it a blessing that there were no serious injuries in the Mineral, Va., area.

    They walked through Louisa County High School a day after about 1,400 students fled from it during the quake. They saw fractured cement walls and collapsed ceiling tiles with their sharp aluminum supports dangling at eye level.

    Two students and a teacher at the high school suffered minor injuries, McDonnell said. The governor also praised the schools and students for orderly evacuations.

    They also saw the strewn groceries in the aisles of Miller's Market and learned from its owners, brothers B.J. and Johnny Singh, that insurance won't cover about $200,000 in losses, the AP reported.

    Both said they're exploring federal and state aid, but it could be weeks before engineers find all the hidden damage the temblor caused. Cantor said few people have earthquake insurance. There’s no state program to help the uninsured or underinsured, McDonnell said.

    “We’re going to do everything we can at the state level,” the governor said.

    After their visit to Mineral, McDonnell and Cantor toured North Anna Power Station, where twin nuclear reactors were taken offline by safety systems Tuesday. A low-level alert was lifted Tuesday. There was no release of radioactivity as a result of the earthquake and no damage to any safety systems, the AP reported.