5.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Northern Virginia

Posted on August 23, 2011

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in central Virginia shook Washington D.C. today. You can find the USGS page for the quake here. The USGS says people in central Virginia have felt small earthquakes since 1774. There have also been infrequent damaging earthquakes, with the largest being a 4.8 magnitude in 1875. This quake was much larger than the 1875 quake.

A nuclear power plant in Louisa County, near the epicenter, was shut down. Airports have been closed in the region. People were evacuated from buildings in major east coast cities. Reuters reports that the quake was felt as far away as Toronto.

There is an early report the Washington Monument may be tilting following the quake. There is also a report that stones fell off the Washington National Cathedral.

Here is a video about the quake that includes interviews with people that felt it. Take a look: