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Quake, centered near Washington, felt along East Coast


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Quake, centered near Washington, felt along East Coast

Washington (CNN) -- An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 struck Tuesday near the nation's capital and sent shock waves up and down the East Coast.

"It's one of the largest that we've had there," said U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones. Aftershocks were a concern, she said. "People should be expecting (them), especially over the next hour or two," she added.

Near the epicenter -- Mineral, Virginia -- Louisa County Sheriff's Lt. Roy "Snake" McGehee said he had heard of no injuries. "We've had some structural damage," he said. "My wife said the house shook pretty good."

"Currently, there have been no reports of damage to buildings, bridges, roads, power grids, the Indian Point nuclear power plant, or other infrastructure," New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement.

The quake, which struck at 1:51 p.m., was shallow -- just 3.7 miles deep -- and was located 88 miles southwest of Washington and 58 miles northwest of Richmond, Virginia, the USGS said.

The FBI evacuated its buildings in Washington and New York, though they were returning to the 40-story New York facility by 3 p.m. At the Pentagon, police announced that anyone inside could "shelter in place" while security and emergency personnel checked the building for damage. But shortly thereafter, Pentagon workers were allowed to return to their offices.

"The entire office just started swaying," said CNN's Chris Lawrence. "As you stood up, you could literally feel that the entire Pentagon was moving underneath you." He said it lasted 10-12 seconds.

A number of other buildings were evacuated, as far away as North Carolina and New York, witnesses reported.

At Washington's National Cathedral, spokesman Richard Weinberg said three five- to eight-foot pinnacles had broken from the central tower. He said stone masons and engineers would assess the damage, which also included other pieces that broke and fell on the surrounding lawn.

The building was evacuated and closed to the public.

Court buildings in downtown New York were evacuated. "I was trying to figure out what was going on, like everyone else," said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who said he had been through many earthquakes when he lived in California. But such quakes are rare on the East Coast, USGS's Jones said.

"My first thought was, 'Was it a bomb? An earthquake?'" said CNN's Susan Candiotti, who was covering Vance's news conference on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case in New York. When the shaking started, reporters evacuated the building.

But at the New York Stock Exchange, trading continued.

The quake was also reported to have been felt on the island of Martha's Vineyard, where President Barack Obama was playing golf.

Jones said that she would expect to see "significant damage" to old, brick buildings near the epicenter. "If you've already got some damage, you might want to stay outside," she said.

She also raised concern that water and gas lines may have been damaged.

"Our building was shaking the way a skyscraper isn't supposed to shake," said a lawyer in a high-rise in midtown Manhattan.

At John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark-Liberty International Airport, control towers were evacuated, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said.

Amtrak service between Washington and Baltimore was disrupted, with speed restrictions imposed.

Power outages were reported in parts of Prince Georges County in Maryland.

The D.C. Fire Department ordered its units to leave their firehouses and inspect the buildings in their districts for damage.

In northern Virginia's Fairfax County, no infrastructure damage was immediately reported.

Two nuclear reactors were taken off-line automatically. Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman David McIntyre said the agency was monitoring the situation. He said it was not clear whether either plant had been damaged.

Dominion's North Anna plant in central Virginia's Louisa County lost offsite power and was using backup generators to keep spent fuel cool, the NRC said. Nine other plants in four states have also declared an unusual event, but have not shut down, it added.


I hope any of our members in that area are OK.....

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Guest Code Hunter

Here's another Earthquake:

Strong earthquake hits northern Peru near Brazil

LIMA, Peru (AP) -- A strong but deep earthquake shook a sparsely populated northern jungle region on Wednesday and was felt mildly in the capital. There were no reports of damage or injuries.The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 and was centered 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of the jungle city of Pucallpa, near the border with Brazil, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake occurred at 12:46 p.m. local time (1:46 p.m. EDT; 1746 GMT), and occurred 90 miles (145 kilometers) underground, the agency said. The deeper the quake, the less it is likely to cause damage.

An unidentified local woman interviewed by Peru's Canal N television station said the earth shook "like a hammock."

A police official in the regional capital of Pucallpa, Angela Romero, said there were no indications of damage. "We all went out calmly to the street," she said.

Peru's Institute of Geophysics registered the quake's magnitude at 7, but an official at the institute said that because of its depth, it only felt like a 5-magnitude quake to Pucallpa's residents. The official was not allowed to be identified by name.

Peru is among the world's most seismically active countries.

Its most recent deadly quake occurred on Aug. 15, 2007. The 7.9-magnitude temblor killed 596 people and largely destroyed the coastal city of Pisco just south of Lima, the capital.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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^ That should be in another topic, to be honest. It's offtopic and nowhere near the area where the topic of this quake occurred.

I've been closely following the quake since it happened and there've been a lot of aftershocks. I've not felt a single one yet despite the strongest being a 4.5.

Thus far we've had the main 5.8 quake, and as for aftershocks: 2.8, 2.2, 4.2, 3.4, 2.5, 4.5, 2.3, 2.4.

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