August 23, 2011

Earthquake Rocks Virginia, DC, NYC


Virginia was rocked by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday that was felt all the way into New York City and beyond.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said that the 5.9-magnitude earthquake's epicenter was in Mineral, Virginia, about 100 miles away from Washington D.C.

Buildings throughout Washington and New York City were evacuated, including the Pentagon.

CNN reported that there is standing water from a pipe broken at the Pentagon as a result of the earthquake.

The same report also said pinnacles fell off the National Cathedral in Washington DC.

"It was completely surreal...I've never experienced anything quite like it and didn't really know what to think," Heather, a Facebook user in Metro New York, said.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the 26-story federal courthouse in lower Manhattan felt the quake as well.

Many residents of Washington D.C. thought that the initial shaking felt was a result of a terrorist attack, not an earthquake.

"As a citizen living so close to the nation's capitol, the last thing I thought was happening was an earthquake," 26-year-old Alexandria, Virginia resident Shaun Daknis told RedOrbit. "I was extremely relieved.  For a moment, I had bigger issues on my mind."

"After the earthquake was over, my legs shook for another ten minutes," Daknis, who grew up in Virginia and is currently an actor and musician in the DC area, told RedOrbit.  "Stuff like that doesn't happen around here.  It was like walking out of a (Alfred) Hitchcock film.  Heart raced, and my first thought was for my wife."

Keisa, another resident of Virginia, said the shaking was so bad that she thought her house was crumbling.

"I thought I was crazy cause it seemed like my house was about to fall down," she told RedOrbit.

The U.S. Weather Service said that no tsunami is expected to take place as a result of the earthquake.

Two nuclear reactors were taken off-line automatically after the earthquake.  The North Anna nuclear power plant is shut down and officials said was in a safe condition.  A spokeswoman for Louisa County said that there has been no release of nuclear material.

The USGS said the earthquake was centered at a depth of 4.6 miles and is the largest to originate in Virginia since May 31, 1897.


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