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A 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in central Virginia just shook the District. The U.S. Geological Survey reports the epicenter of the quake was 87 miles from D.C. Here at the Washington City Paper building in Adams Morgan, there was at least 30 seconds of sustained, loud shaking, heavy enough to knock some stuff from shelves and a picture off the wall.
UPDATE: A 2.8 magnitude aftershock was reported about an hour after the first quake, and a second one, with a 2.2 magnitude, was recorded about 90 minutes after the initial rumble. Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier emailed out a statement to police-run lists: “DC Police officers are maintaining a heavy police presence in the community. Our helicopter has been flying over for visual assessments with no major damage noted.”
D.C. Fire and EMS reports it’s gotten nearly 2,000 calls for service since 2 p.m.—the usual average is 450 calls in a 24-hour period.
The steeple at the Mt. Rona Missionary Baptist Church at 13th and Monroe streets NW collapsed:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency posted tips on what to do in an earthquake, which could come in handy for next time, and a recommendation to text or email, not call, anyone you’re trying to contact, as cell phone networks are strained.
At Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, a building was damaged and two people were treated for minor injuries, military officials say.
Check back here for more updates throughout the day (and also follow us on Twitter). Where were you when the quake hit, and what did it feel like? Let us know in the comments or through a tweet.
A government map of the quake’s location is below.
[cetsEmbedGmap src=http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.875+-77.908(M5.8+-+VIRGINIA+-+2011+August+23++17%3A51%3A03+UTC)&ll=37.875,-77.908&spn=2,2&f=d&t=h&hl=e width=500 height=400 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 frameborder=0 scrolling=no]
Photo by Mindy Saraco