From Maine to Georgia the earth shook, causing many people to wonder what in the world was going on. Some people’s thoughts instantly turned to terrorism while others turned to a train derailment, a plane breaking the sound barrier, and the exploding of a nuclear reactor exploding.
With the anniversary of 911 just around the corner many people in New York ran out of the high rise buildings like the Empire State Building with the thoughts of bombs and planes running through their mind. Luckily there were no known serious injuries or deaths with this earthquake. The Washington Monument had cracks appear in it and the National Cathedral had cracks and its tower had three capstones break off.
In Virginia, which is where the earthquake was centered, grocery stores were wrecked with things falling off the shelves and windows were shattered. They did evacuate the Capitol and the White House. The earthquake was centered northwest of Richmond about forty miles and traveled thee point seven miles under the earth’s surface, shaking up as many as twelve million people. It was the most powerful earthquake in sixty-seven years to hit the East Coast.
All the memorials and monuments were evacuated and closed along the National Mall plus The Pentagon and other federal agencies that are in or around Washington were also evacuated. The size of this earthquake which had a 5.8 magnitude had about half the power of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Japan during WWII.
The earthquake also caused ceiling tiles to fall at the Reagan National Airport, a crack and hole appeared in the ceiling at Union Station, The Smithsonian Castle had broken glass and minor cracks, and the bell tower and steeple at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Baltimore was heavily damaged.