WASHINGTON — A 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook Washington D.C. and much of the East Coast Tuesday. There were no reports of injuries or serious damage.
The U.S. Capitol, White House and Pentagon were evacuated during the quake, as were most office buildings in the district. A perimeter was established around the Capitol for precautionary reasons, but there were no immediate reports of damage. Several national monuments and museums were also evacuated and shut down, including those in the Smithsonian system.
Most elected officials are out of town, including Congress, which is on recess, the Vice President, who is in Asia, and President Barack Obama, who is vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard. The pool reporter assigned to cover Obama reported feeling the quake, so it can be presumed the president felt it too.
The quake, reportedly the largest to hit Virginia since the 1800s, was felt up and down the eastern seaboard, from Georgia to parts of Canada. The United States Geological Survey reported the quake originated about 3.7 miles underground.
Air traffic was grounded for a time in New York, and is still halted at Reagan National Airport in Washington. Cell phone coverage was spotty immediately after the quake.
Minor damage was reported at the National Cathedral, as well as the Ecuadorian embassy, the Associated Press reports.
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