A 5.8 earthquake in Virginia this afternoon shook the ground from New York to the Carolinas but reportedly caused little damage. The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting the quake struck at 1:51 PM about nine miles south of Mineral, VA — about halfway between Richmond and Charlottesville — and was 3.7 miles deep.
Hundreds of people fled into the street in Washington D.C. as buildings swayed in the earthquake. Parts of the Pentagon, the White House and the Capitol were evacuated. The earthquake lasted for approximately 30 to 45 seconds.
Reports of shaking have so far come in as far north as Rhode Island and as far south as Chapel Hill, NC. In New York City, buildings rocked slightly as the waves from the quake swept through. Hundreds of poeple evacuated the Manhattan federal courthouse and were not immediately allowed back in.
The 5.9 Virginia earthquake was also felt in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. A stadium on the Yale campus was also evacuated after the earthquake interrupted a game. In Ohio, the quake was felt by some attendees of the first game of a doubleheader between the Seattle Mariners and the Cleveland Indians.
There have been no reports so far of serious damage or injuries as a result of the Virginia earthquake. The JFK airport was shut down as a precaution.
Lucy Jones, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, said she was not surprised the earthquake was felt so far away from the epicenter. “This large of an earthquake … could definately have been felt hundreds of miles away.”
“It’s one of the largest that we’ve had there,”Jones told CNN.Â “People should be expecting [aftershocks], especially over the next hour or two,” she added.