Earthquake! AP Reports Pentagon, Capitol Being Evacuated [UPDATE: Magnitude 5.9]


    Wow, did you feel that? Here in Arlington, I felt a strong rumbling through the house, even had a clock fall to the ground. Crazy.

    Meanwhile, per USA today:

    The Associated Press reports that the Pentagon is being evacuated.

    An apparent earthquake rocks Washington, D.C. area.

    Fox news reports that several public buildings, including the Capitol, have been evacuated.

    What are you hearing? Stay safe!

    UPDATE: The USGS reports that this quake measured 5.8 5.9 on the Richter Scale, was located at 37.875°N, 77.908°W, apparently near Louisa and Mineral, northwest of Richmond, 83 miles from Washington, DC, just 0.6 miles deep. Wow.

    UPDATE #2: ABC reports the quake was “felt in Washington, New York City, North Carolina.”

    UPDATE #3: My cell phone (Verizon) service isn’t working, is yours?

    UPDATE #4: Hey, now that the earthquake’s gotten everyone’s attention…make sure you go VOTE today! 🙂 For Jaime Areizaga-Soto, Janet Oleszek, and Theo Stamos if you could. Thanks. 🙂

    UPDATE #5: Per the Washington Post, Marcia McNutt of USGS says, “What the concern is, of course, is that this is a foreshock. If it’s a foreshock, then the worse is yet to come.”

    UPDATE #6: From Del. Surovell on Facebook, “Report from VA: No casualties, no emergency declaration, no resource requests, no power outages, no transpo impacts, VA nuke plants ok”

    UPDATE #7: NBC reports, the “The [North Anna nuclear power] plant declared an ‘unusual event’ in the wake of the 5.9 magnitude quake, which is the lowest stage on the plant’s emergency scale…As a result, the plant has been shut down.”

    UPDATE #8: Per Metro, “Customers should expect significant delays on Metrorail until further notice due to the reduced operating speed.” Also, “Metro personnel are conducting track inspections of the entire rail system.”

    UPDATE #9: With people being sent home from work in DC and Virginia, I’m wondering if voting hours be extended? How will this impact today’s elections? Who knows at this point. Craaaazy.

    UPDATE #10: There’s excellent quake coverage, specifically focused on Arlington, at ArlNow!

    UPDATE #11: I just talked to a representative at the State Board of Elections, and she said they’re focused on making sure polling places are safe, that some polling machines have actually been moved outside. So far, though, there’s no sign that polling hours will be extended. Seems to me that’s a mistake, but what do I know?

    • NotJohnSMosby

      5.8 isn’t particularly strong, but that epicenter is very close to the Lake Anne nuclear plants.  I wonder if all is well down there?

    • normanva

      We have a minor tremor a few years ago.  This time the whole house was noticably shaking.  Didn’t know this part of the country was in an earthquake zone.

    • Jim B

      Whole house was shaking. Garage door was shaking just over my head when it happened. 2nd quake in last several years. Felt a quake from California when I lived in Az, but this was bigger. We are about 20 miles from the epicenter.

    • Redjek

      I have Verizon.  Occasionally have to resend a couple of times.  Voice is out, but I did get through to my house early.

    • WestEndVoter

      I don’t see any indication there is a current problem with the power station, but that earthquake was scarily close to the design tolerance, and only 10-15 miles away.  

      Multiple sources indicate that the plant has automatically shut down both reactors.

    • Tom

      My desk in my basement office shook.It felt like a tank was rolling along the street outside, just for a few seconds. No power disruption. Woke up my dog.

    • “We had a small impact here in Virginia beach. All they did was delay the shark feeding at the VA aquarium to re-calibrate the water systems.”

    • We are currently working with federal, state and local agencies to assess the situation and determine if there has been any damage resulting from today’s 5.9 magnitude earthquake which was centered near Mineral in Louisa County. As part of this effort we are in touch with officials around the state. All indications are that emergency response plans and orderly evacuations have gone well today, and I thank all involved. In the wake of the earthquake, I would like to encourage all Virginians to check on neighbors and loved ones to ensure that everyone is safe and to continue cooperating with law enforcement and emergency responders working in your neighborhood. All resources of the Commonwealth have been put on alert to assist in any way necessary as we move forward.

    • Redjek

      People would be home to vote, not at work.  If they kept people at work, then it would make sense to extend the voting hours.

    • aznew
    • Elaine in Roanoke

      I was on the 12th floor of Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital visiting my husband when the quake definitely caused 25-40 seconds of shaking. That high up, it’s magnified. I have felt a mild earthquake before, so I knew what it was. At home, just a couple of picture frames fell over.

      One of the first things I thought of was North Anna. The quake was close there. Hopefully, this will be an isolated thing.

    • Johnny Longtorso

      I felt my desk shaking, which I thought was odd, then I realized it was the whole building that was shaking.

      I heard on NPR that it was the strongest earthquake to hit Virginia since the 1870s.

    • kindler

      Sitting at the bar in a DC restaurant, when the whole place started rocking back and forth pretty roughly for a good half a minute.  

      Kept an eye on the 50 or so bottles of alcohol swaying over my head. Nothing fell, thankfully.

      Guy next to me says “I better finish my dessert before anything else happens!”. Priorities, y’know…

    • pontoon

      I would say.  We were in an old building, big plate glass windows….at first I thought it was a train because of the noise associated with the shaking. Then said to myself, there are no train tracks in town…and yelled to everyone to get out of the office that we were experiencing an earthquake.  Windows buckled, bent, but did not break, thank goodness.  My third earthquake since moving to Central Virginia 23 years ago.  This one was by far the strongest.