Weston Observatory director says earthquake unusually strong

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August 23, 2011, 4:47 pm
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(NECN: Julie Loncich, Weston, MA) – The earthquake struck just before 2 p.m. today. The U.S. Geological survey says the 5.8 magnitude quake was centered near Mineral, Virginia, but it was felt all the way up and down the East Coast.

It shook Washington D.C., forcing some evacuations.

The Park Service evacuated and closed all national mall monuments and memorials.

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

Reagan National Airport put all flights on hold.

The earthquake also shook skyscrapers in New York City and, once the shaking began, people immediately began heading down to the streets.

President Obama felt the earthquake on Martha’s Vineyard as he was golfing.

Julie Loncich is at the Boston College Weston Observatory in Weston, MA, reporting on the quake.

Director John Ebel says the 5.8 magnitude that struck 83 miles southwest of DC is unusually strong. Drums at the observatory recorded ground movements, while thousands from DC to NYC evacuated buildings fearing possible building collapses.

There was also an aftershock that registered a 2.8 magnitude.

Tags: virginia, earthquake, Weston Observatory, john ebel
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