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Washington hit by earthquake: The Church of England Newspaper, Aug 23, 2011 August 23, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Washington.
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The pinnacles atop Washington's National Cathedral central tower were damaged in Tuesday's earthquake. Photo tweeted by Jennifer Walker

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake has rocked the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, shaking buildings from Georgia to Massachusetts.  The Pentagon and other government offices in Washington were evacuated following the earthquake, while the central tower of Washington’s National Cathedral has been badly damaged.

According to the US Geological Survey, the quake struck at 17:51:04 UTC (1:51 pm local time) on Tuesday, Aug 23.  The epicenter of the quake was located near Mineral, Virginia, approximately 84 miles south west of Washington, DC.

Reports of the earthquake quickly appeared on the internet.  The Pentagon, Washington’s public monuments and parts of the Capitol were evacuated.  Three of the four pinnacles on the central tower of Washington’s National Cathedral have been damaged, according to reports tweeted by onlookers.  The cathedrals flying buttresses have cracked in several places, and one tweet reports the central tower is leaning to one side.

The cathedral’s website reports the building has been evacuated and closed to visitors pending a structural examination.

Office workers from afar afield as New York City, Columbus, Ohio, and Atlanta, Georgia evacuated high rise buildings when the quake hit.  Airports across the east coast have closed, however no injuries or deaths have been reported so far.

Tuesday’s earthquake comes as the Eastern Seaboard prepares for the landfall of Hurricane Irene, a category 3 storm that has lashed the Bahamas and is expected to make landfall on the US mainland on Aug 25.

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