The iconic Washington Monument has been closed indefinitely after damage to the structure was found following the 5.8 Virginia earthquake on Tuesday. National Park Service officials have reported finding cracks in the stone work at the top of the structure.
The Washington Monument is one of the premier landmarks and tourist attractions in Washington, D.C. and is the world’s tallest obelisk at just over 555 feet. The monument, which is 127 years old, will be closed until it can be repaired and deemed safe to allow visitors again. An area of 100 feet around the monument has been blocked off.
“The NPS will have structural engineers evaluate the cracks on Wednesday to determine the best way to repair the Monument before it is reopened,” the National Park Service said in a post to its website.
The 5.8 Virginia earthquake shook the ground all over the Northeast, causing buildings to shimmer from Atlanta to the Carolinas to New York. There were reports of only minor damage and no major injuries.
The Washington National Cathedral has also been closed after the Virginia earthquake caused damage to that structure as well. Stones fell from the building’s central spire and cracks were found on the structure’s east side.
The Capitol, the White House and most of the Smithsonian museums remain open to tourists, but the castle-like Smithsonian Institution Building on the Mall is also closed.
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