Archive for August 24th, 2011|Daily archive page

Tuesday’s Earthquake in Virginia was felt all the way in Michigan

WASHINGTON — A 5.9-magnitude earthquake rattled a wide swath of the eastern US Tuesday, forcing at least partial evacuations of the US Capitol building and White House in Washington, D.C. as well as the Pentagon in Virginia.

The earthquake’s epicenter was 87 miles (140km) southwest of the capital near Mineral, Va., the US Geological Survey said. It struck at 1:51pm ET at a depth of 3.7 miles (5.6km). There were no tsunami warnings issued after the quake.

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The earthquake, which was originally reported as a 5.8-magnitude, could also be felt as far away as New York City, Michigan and Toronto, reports said.

Flights out of John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty airports were halted after their control towers were evacuated by the Federal Aviation Administration as a precaution, a Port Authority spokesman told The Wall Street Journal. FOX News Channel reported that New York’s LaGuardia Airport remained functioning.

Cell phone service in and around Washington, D.C., was reportedly disrupted after the tremor. The rattling was strong enough that pictures hanging in the Capitol building reportedly fell from the walls, FOX News Channel reported.

The quake was also reportedly felt on Martha’s Vineyard, the island off Massachusetts where President Barack Obama is vacationing with his family.

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, posted on Twitter a description of the strength of the quake as felt from his building at the university.

“I thought the Pavilion would collapse — seriously,” he wrote. “At first I thought it was an explosion. Pavilion IV on Lawn was swaying. Cracks here and there, broken window panes.”

“My first thought was that a plane had crashed into the Lawn,” he wrote. “It was that violent. But it went on too long.”

New York City Hall was also evacuated, the New York Post reported.

The Wall Street Journal reported lamps shaking, computer monitors bouncing and other furniture moving for roughly 10 seconds at its headquarters on Sixth Avenue in midtown Manhattan.

The Journal reported that there have been no reported disruptions to New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority service as a result of the earthquake. Washington residents, however, were reporting delays to DC public transportation as well as Amtrak service.

Also in New York, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. had just opened a press conference to speak about the dismissal of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s sex assault case when the quake hit. Officials flanking the top prosecutor appeared to lose their footing and, along with members of the press, began to evacuate the briefing room.

Aftershocks were reportedly felt in New York City and Boston shortly after the initial quake.

Officials could not immediately confirm reports that two Virginia nuclear plants were undamaged, but taken offline, after the earthquake.

The quake epicenter is reportedly just 13 miles (21km) from the North Anna nuclear facility, on shores of Lake Anna, in central Virginia.

As read on: http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/local/earthquake-rattles-virginia,-tremors-felt-in-michigan_20110823_dk

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