The preliminary magnitude registered at 3.9. It happened around 12:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, five miles east of Columbia.
Matt Stump, a JMU senior had taken an old Jim Layman seismogram and hooked it up to record digital data. Though it wasn't much, it's the first thing it has picked up.
"It's a small earth quake," said Dr. Will Frangos, geologist "It can be felt, but there's not much risk to personnel not much risk to life and limb."
Dr. Frangos says the earth can shift anywhere causing the quakes, but it is a rarity here in central Virginia. The quake was felt from northern Virginia, here in the Valley and out to the Lake Anna area.