First, I spend a lot of time in the "Ring of Fire" zone and have experienced numerous earthquakes. By no means does this make me an expert, nor scientifically qualified to analyze earthquakes. But, as enthusiasts, we looked up every quake we felt over a five-year period -- the size, epicenter location, depth, and so on, to get a general sense of placing how it "felt" relative to the official data.
I can categorically state that, of the dozen or so earthquakes that I've experienced, including a powerful 6.2, all of them started gently, none of them were over 50 miles away, all of them had depths of several kilometers, and the big ones seemed to have multiple aftershocks reported. Again, I say this as an observer, not as a scientist, and I'm only providing this background simply to qualify my immediate skepticism.
Furthermore, curiously, the "Great Virginia Quake of 2011," unprecedented in size and scope, should have grabbed the media headlines and discussion for weeks, but Hurricane Irene has all but wiped the earthquake off the weather map. Even as all the storm measurements for Irene show that it will likely be a minor nuisance, maybe some flooding and power outages, multiple states of emergency have been declared, mandatory mass evacuations ordered, and the media is all too eager to spread the panic. You'd think the east coast of the United States was being invaded. It feels like a distraction, or perhaps a large but manageable live drill of some kind to make heroes out of our politicians, and FEMA look like a successful agency.