Earthquake Rattles Washington D.C. – August 23, 2011 (Updated)

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake occurred in Virginia today at 1:51 pm EDT.    The details from the dialectic essay are below. ***Scroll to bottom for updates***

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Earthquake Details

  • This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.
find here 5.9
Extra resources
Location 37.975°N, 77.969°W
Depth 1 km (~0.6 mile) (poorly constrained)
Distances 45 km (27 miles) E of Charlottesville, Virginia
55 km (34 miles) SW of Fredericksburg, Virginia
64 km (39 miles) NW of RICHMOND, Virginia
82 km (50 miles) NNE of Farmville, Virginia
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 10.9 km (6.8 miles); depth +/- 7.4 km (4.6 miles)
Parameters NST=390, Nph=390, Dmin=57.9 km, Rmss=1.17 sec, Gp= 47°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=6
  • Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID usc0005ild

While the quake’s epicenter was approximately 83 miles SW of D.C., preliminary reports indicate that the trembler was felt  as far north as New York.  Reports also indicate that the ground was shaking in North Carolina.


“It’s one of the largest that we’ve had there,” USGS seismologist Lucy Jones told CNN. Aftershocks were a concern, she said. “People should be expecting (them), especially over the next hour or two,” she added.She said that she would expect to see “significant damage” to old, brick buildings near the epicenter. “If you’ve already got some damage, you might want to stay outside,” she said.

UPDATE:  It is being reported that the Washington Monument has received some structural damage from the quake.  From Real Clear Politics:

“The U.S. Capitol Police reports that the Washington Monument has been damaged after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck near the nation’s capital.

There are also reports that the Washington Monument is “tilting” from ABC News affiliate WABC.

UPDATE:  Reports now indicate that the quake has severly damage the National Cathedral in D.C.

Broken pinnacles atop the National Cathedral

From Reuters:

The Washington National Cathedral, the highest building in the city, suffered damage in Tuesday’s earthquake, with three pinnacles in the central tower breaking off, a spokesman said.

See more from the Reuters article here: