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There are evacuations at the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill.
It's rather unusual to see earthquakes of this magnitude in Virginia, and the largest earthquake in the state's history was back on May 31, 1897, when a 5.9 hit. That quake seemed to be felt much more locally than today's quake, which was felt up here in the NYC metro area.
I can't say that I felt it personally, but Mrs. Lawhawk and others in her office felt it. Some local offices have been evacuated as a precaution.
The USGS has apparently upgraded the quake to a magnitude 5.9 upon further review. The quake was felt as far away as parts of Canada.
1010wins is reporting that Newark Liberty airport has temporarily closed to check for runway damage.
All NJ TRANSIT rail, bus and light rail services are operating. Customers may experience some delays because of crowding conditions and speed restrictions due to this afternoon's earthquake. Systemwide cross-honoring is in effect. Check back for updates.
From local traffic reports:
NYC BULLETIN - 6-10 m delay - HUDSON RIVER CROSSINGS: INBOUND HOLLAND TUNNEL REOPENED // OUTBOUND REOPENED.
NYC BULLETIN - 1-5 m delay - JOHN F KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT CLOSED ON ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES DUE TO EATHQUAKE.
NYC BULLETIN - 1-5 m delay - NEWARK LIBERTY AIRPORT CLOSED ON ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES DUE TO EARTHQUAKE.
The National Park Service said that all National Mall monuments and memorials are closed and evacuated after the quake.UPDATE:
At Reagan National Airport outside Washington, ceiling tiles fell during a few seconds of shaking. Authorities announced it was an earthquake and all flights were put on hold.
At the Pentagon in northern Virginia, a low rumbling built and built to the point that the building was shaking. People ran into the corridors of the government's biggest building and as the shaking continued there were shouts of "Evacuate! Evacuate!"
In New York, the 26-story federal courthouse in lower Manhattan began swaying and hundreds of people were seen leaving the building. Court officers weren't letting people back in.
It's once again a good reminder for everyone to make sure that they have their disaster go-plans just in case a more serious tremblor hits.
And they have hit across the East Coast in the past. Many people don't realize that some of the strongest quakes to hit the United States have come not in California, but in New Madrid, MO, and in South Carolina. Other strong quakes have struck in Ontario Canada and across New York, but are often weaker than other quakes even though they are felt over a wider area.
Looks like the National Cathedral in Washington was damaged by the quake. Its website says that it's closed for the afternoon to inspect for damage, but
Washington Post reports:
The tip of the National Cathedral in Washington spire crashed onto the steps on Pilgrim Road. Three of the four pinnacles of the central tower are down and there’s significant damage, said spokesman Richard Weinberg. No injuries were reported.UPDATE:
Updated the headline to reflect the USGS upgrade of the quake to a 5.9. Also, the Washington Post has a comprehensive roundup of quake news from DC.