"They've been asleep, poor babies," she said as dozens of children were led by hand and several babies were pushed in cribs on wheels back into the building. "I could feel it rattling and everything," Charlton said.
Security guard Henry Pickens was sitting in the lower level of the downtown Kanawha County library. "I felt my chair shake," he said.
At first, he thought it was a crane or some heavy equipment vehicle passing by on Quarrier Street. "We went through our evacuation plan and started evacuating people out. I was clearing the building."
His Army experience -- he served in Vietnam and Korea -- helped him keep his head since he had a job to do. "I'm military so I try to adapt to situations. Nothing was falling down."
But he conceded it was a notable thing when you see the heft of the library's stone structure, a building which occupies almost a city block. "It was one of the original fall-out shelters in the downtown area. For a building that size to shake...", he said.
Nervous principals decided to evacuate students from some schools, including East Bank Middle School and DuPont Middle School, said Beverly Jarrett, safety administrator for Kanawha County Schools.
Jarrett talked to officials with Metro 911 and then sent phone and e-mail messages out to school principals and other administrators.
She informed them -- based on Metro 911 information -- that unless they'd seen signs of structural damages to their buildings, it was safe to keep students inside the schools. There were no reports of damage to any county schools, she said.
Liza Cordeiro, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Education, said the department did not receive any reports of damage to schools.
In Barbour County, part of a chimney collapsed at the county courthouse in Philippi at about 2:15 p.m., according to Emergency Management Director Larry Allen. Allen said the chimney fell on the outside of the building.
Allen said the courthouse was closed after the fall, and county officials were calling in a structural engineer to assess the building.
No reports of gas line ruptures across the state were reported to Mountaineer Gas, according to Jim Searls, manager of gas systems operations for the company.
Bayer CropScience spokesman Tom Dover said officials at his company's Institute plant conducted a walk-through inspection after the quake and found no problems.
David Hastings, a DuPont spokesman, said his company's plants in Belle and Parkersburg reported no damaged, disruptions or impacts to the operations.
Carper said Kanawha County was "relying" on utility companies to do routine inspections after "an anomaly like this."
"When something like this happens, you worry about damage which is not visible," he said.
At the state Capitol Complex, workers gathered outside the Statehouse and other buildings.
One woman who works in the Secretary of State's office said that at first, she thought someone was behind her, shaking her chair.
The tremors knocked her foam cup of iced tea off her desk, she said.
Sen. Richard Browning was at the Capitol to attend a bill-signing ceremony and headed to his office afterward.
"My chair started moving first," the Wyoming County Democrat said. Then, he saw the American and state flags that stand in his office start to move.
All buildings on the Capitol campus were evacuated, said state Department of Administration spokeswoman Diane Holley-Brown. Workers returned to the buildings less than an hour later, after members of the Charleston Fire Department and the state's General Services Division concluded there were no safety problems caused by the earthquake.
No damage was reported at state buildings, she said.
Browning said he experienced an earthquake in Taiwan a few years ago. Compared to that, he said, "this was barely noticeable."