Earthquake Hits East Coast as Hurricane Irene Approaches

August 23, 2011

Buildings from Washington, DC to New York City were evacuated as a 5.9 magnitude earthquake rocked the U.S. East Coast at around 2:00 pm today. The quake's epicenter was located about 85 miles from the nation's capital in Mineral, Virginia.  Flights were delayed in Washington, DC, New York and New Jersey airports.  The monuments on the National Mall were closed, including the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

While not a seemingly significant earthquake compared to the recent devastating quakes in Japan, earthquakes along the east coast are rare. The last strong earthquake in this area was a 4.8 magnitude in 1875.

Damage in Washington, DC included three pinnacles breaking off the central tower of National Cathedral and some damage to the Ecuador Embassy.

While the sudden earthquake was an unexpected surprise, residents along the East Coast are preparing for Hurricane Irene which is expected to hit this weekend as a category 3 or 4 storm. Florida residents are hoping that Irene follows the current predicted path to stay off the coast of the peninsula making landfall in North Carolina. Tropical storm force winds of up to 70 mph are expected in Orlando.


Anonymous said...

I heard that Obama re-named the fault line, it will now be called "Bush's Fault". A Tea Party spokesman said this this signifies a "shift to the right" and Conservatives said the quake was caused by the Founding Fathers spinning in the graves.