Gov. Cuomo orders dam check after small New York quake

NEW YORK Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:04pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Days after a rare 5.8 magnitude earthquake jarred buildings and nerves across the East Coast, a much smaller tremor in upstate New York prompted Governor Andrew Cuomo on Saturday to order inspections of a dam and other structures.

The slight 2.9 magnitude earthquake struck 16 miles west of Albany, the state capital, at 10:38 a.m. local time on Saturday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Tremors of that scale generally pass without notice by members of the public, but they are recorded by seismic equipment.

"Although this was a mild earthquake, out of an abundance of caution, I have ordered immediate inspection of nearby infrastructure," Cuomo said in a statement.

Cuomo said inspectors would include a check of the Blenheim-Gilboa Dam in Schoharie County.

The small tremor comes four days after a much stronger quake in Virginia, registering 5.8, rattled much of the East Coast, causing damage to the U.S. Capitol and Washington Monument and sending thousands of jittery residents and office workers into the streets.

(Writing by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Steve Gorman)

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