5.9-Magnitude Quake Hits Virginia

Quake rocks DC area, nuclear plant shut down
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2011 1:05 PM CDT
Updated Aug 23, 2011 1:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – What a day for earthquakes: A 5.9-magnitude quake has hit Virginia, following this morning's historical temblor in Colorado. The USGS reports that it struck four miles south of Louisa, Virginia, which is about 30 miles from Charlottesville and about 80 miles from Washington, DC, at 1:51pm. Media reports say it could be felt as far north as Boston and Rhode Island. The Capitol Building and Pentagon were evacuated, and all flights at Reagan National Airport were put on hold.

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The epicenter was near the North Anna nuclear power plant, which was shut down automatically. Police in Richmond immediately received calls about property damage, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, with multiple walls reportedly collapsing. (Read more earthquake stories.)

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