EARTHQUAKE

Washington Monument has extensive cracking

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A new report on the earthquake-damaged Washington Monument details extensive cracking and chipped stones on the top portion of the 127-year-old structure.

(Photo: National Park Service)

The report released Thursday suggests the monument is highly vulnerable to rainfall, with standing water collecting on the upper floors during storms.

The report was prepared by the engineering firm whose employees rappelled down the sides of the monument in September to inspect the damage.

The monument has been closed to visitors since a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that shook the nation's capital on Aug. 23.

The report does not estimate how long repairs would take or how much they would cost.

The recently approved federal spending bill allocates $7.5 million to fix the monument and directs the National Park Service to raise an equal amount through private donations.

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