EARTHQUAKE

D.C. Earthquake Live Blog

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 FACTS The earthquake’s epicenter was nine miles south of Mineral, Va., and 87 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS initially recorded the quake at 5.8 magnitude, later upgraded it to a 5.9, and then downgraded it again. It struck at 1:51 p.m. Eastern time, the USGS said. A 2.8 magnitude aftershock was reported at 2:46 p.m. http://wapo.st/pwqDuf

DALLAS CHECKS IN: As if. But there is this, per the Dallas Morning News: "The Cowboys added another kicker to their roster Tuesday morning by signing (Redskins cut-ee) veteran Shayne Graham." http://dallasne.ws/qSkjUR 

NATS UPDATE: "Gates will open at 6:40 pm ET. Tonight's game scheduled to start at 7:25 pm ET." - Nationals on Twitter

CHICAGO CHECKS IN: Per the Tribune, "Gary Patterson, spokesperson for the Memphis-based Center for Earthquake Research and Information, said that it is possible that people in Illinois would feel the tremors if they were in high-rise buildings. http://trib.in/ogpXl6

THE BIG APPLE CHECKS IN: Per the New York Times, "Several buildings in New York City were evacuated, with employees standing in the streets in midtown Manhattan. Rumbles were reported on Twitter from places as far-flung as Martha’s Vineyard, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee." http://nyti.ms/pYjpVY

BOSTON CHECKS IN: Globe reporters and correspondents interviewed dozens of people in the Greater Boston area about their experiences from today’s highly unusual earthquake. "Debra Ricci was behind the wheel of her car when she realized that something was just not right.

“The car felt like it was rolling,” she said." http://bo.st/ogposZ  

MARK WARNER CHECKS IN: U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement following today's earthquake, centered in Virginia. Warner was en route to a scheduled town hall meeting at a Library of Congress facility in Culpeper, VA, when the tremor struck. The town hall with 60+ community leaders proceeded outdoors beneath a nearby tree.

"I am relieved to hear initial reports of limited damage and injuries from today's quake.

"We are reaching out to state and local officials to see what federal resources or assistance they might need. We also have been in touch with officials at Dominion Virginia Power and they assure us the North Anna Nuclear Power Station, near the quake's epicenter in Louisa County, was taken offline safely.

"I urge Virginians to be safe -- and certainly patient -- as we assess any damage from this remarkable and unsettling event."


SW VIRGINIA CHECKS IN: Per the Roanoke Times, "Some workers in downtown Roanoke ran into the streets shouting there'd been an earthquake. An aftershock was recorded near Mineral at 2:46 p.m. and "aftershocks are likely continue," a spokesman for Virginia Tech's geosciences department said." http://bit.ly/omQvqE

HAMPTON ROADS REACTS:  Per the Virginian Pilot, "(Here), officials had no reports of damage or injuries. But most everyone was talking about it. In Virginia Beach at Lake Smith Condominiums, James Spencer and his wife, Martha, were sitting inside when they felt something shake. "She thought it was the dog bumping her chair," Spencer said.
They turned on their television and heard reports that a 5.8 magnitude earthquake was believed to have struck near Washington, D.C.
"We just sat there," Spencer said. http://bit.ly/oA9sk0

AND THE NATS? "Please note: We are delaying the opening of Center Field gates for tonight's game until further notice. Once we finish reviewing the situation we will send an alert about the status of tonight's game.

"NUCLEAR PLANTS FYI: Federal officials say two nuclear reactors at the North Anna Power Station in Louisa County, Va., were automatically taken off line by safety systems around the time of the earthquake, see here.

Per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Dominion Virginia Power shut down its two North Anna reactors as a result of the earthquake, according to the company.

The plant declared an alert, the second lowest level of emergency declaration, a commission spokesman said." http://bit.ly/qMRvTt  

 FROM THE CIA: “The industry’s infrastructure appears to be intact, but because many wireless consumers are using the networks, we are experiencing higher than normal traffic. In these high volume instances, there can be delays. We encourage people to send text messages and emails to contact their loved ones until volume returns to normal.”

DOWN BELOW: While it’s too early to assess in Virginia and surrounding environs, earthquakes commonly cause fluctuations in groundwater levels and damage to water wells systems, said NGWA Public Awareness Director Cliff Treyens.

“Since aquifers are water-bearing subsurface formations, it makes sense that water levels and wells would be affected,” Treyens said. “One well driller after a California quake cited a well that produced 60 gallons per minute prior to a moderate earthquake slowing down to ‘practically nothing’ after.”

QUACKIN' STOCKS: Per the AP, "The earthquake that began in Virginia and sent tremors as far north as New York briefly threatened to reverse Tuesday's stock rally. The Dow Jones industrial average sank 60 points soon after the quake hit, but quickly recovered. The Dow is up 270 points, or 2.5 percent, shortly before the close." http://apne.ws/oYc8QH  

VIDEO Per the Atlantic, http://bit.ly/nzAVCm  

STATE OF WASHINGTON MONUMENT Per mediaite, "Fox News has taken to the earthquaken streets of DC, where they met to two officers and are now reporting that the Washington Monument may in fact be in danger.” http://bit.ly/psYFOo

However, a National Park Service spokesman earlier told the AP that there was no damage to the monuments.

SOME FOLKS ARE LAUGHING at us and our relative hysteria. Per the L.A. Times. "Now you know what it feels like on the West Coast, East Coast! :D @hafelina http://lat.ms/nn8jtC

WHAT'S CLOSED

WASHINGTON (AP) - The National Park Service says all memorials and monuments on the National Mall have been evacuated and closed after an earthquake struck near the nation's capital. No damage was reported.

The Park Service says the memorials and monuments, including the new Martin Luther King Jr. memorial, were evacuated immediately after the quake.

Agency spokesman Jeffrey Olson says that there was "absolutely no damage" to the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial or other tourist destinations along the Mall.

Per City Paper, "A not-quite-comprehensive list of closings, postponements, cancellations, etc., after today's 5.9 magnitude earthquake.

•Wilson Building evacuated, not reopened by 3 p.m.—many District government employees don't think they'll be let back to work before end of day.
•MLK Library, most other D.C. public libraries closed.
•D.C. courts closed.
•George Mason University evacuated buildings.
•Massachusetts Avenue entrance to Union Station on Metro's Red Line is closed.
•Metro running, trains moving at 15 miles per hour, expect "significant" delays.
•D.C. Public Schools are open, students were taken to evacuation locations within buildings. Parents can pick up students.

3:05 P.M.GUV SAYS: “We are currently working with federal, state and local agencies to assess the situation and determine if there has been any damage resulting from today’s 5.9 magnitude earthquake which was centered near Mineral in Louisa County. As part of this effort we are in touch with officials around the state. All indications are that emergency response plans and orderly evacuations have gone well today, and I thank all involved. In the wake of the earthquake, I would like to encourage all Virginians to check on neighbors and loved ones to ensure that everyone is safe and to continue cooperating with law enforcement and emergency responders working in your neighborhood. All resources of the Commonwealth have been put on alert to assist in any way necessary."

PHOTO: http://bit.ly/pOGwil 

Per the Post: Officials said the earthquake’s epicenter was near Mineral, Va., 87 miles southwest of Washington.

Minutes after the quake, the director of the U.S. Geological Survey, Marcia McNutt — who watched objects falling from the shelves in her office — cautioned that the shaking might not be over.

“What the concern is, of course, is that this is a foreshock. If it’s a foreshock, then the worse is yet to come.”

ALSO, AP says, " A spokesman for Washington National Cathedral says at least three of the four pinnacles on the central tower have fallen off and the central tower appears to be leaning.

The pinnacles are the top stones on the cathedral's towers.

Richard Weinberg, director of communications for the cathedral, said the cathedral has been evacuated and stone masons are assessing the damage.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia forced evacuations of all the monuments on the National Mall in Washington and rattled nerves from Georgia to Martha's Vineyard, the Massachusetts island where President Barack Obama is vacationing. No injuries were immediately reported.

 

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