Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'll Take Things That Don't Happen Here for $100, Alex.

This afternoon, we had an earthquake. An honest to goodness earthquake. In Washington, D.C.

From the USGS website, at 1:51 p.m. today we experienced a 5.9 magnitude earthquake, centered 9 miles SSW from Mineral, Virginia. According to my friends on the internet, it was felt as far south as Athens and as far north as Toronto. I didn't even know that Virginia was on a fault line.

This was my first earthquake and it's really hard to describe. It was exhilarating and terrifying all at once. I was in my office,when I heard a rumbling like someone was jack hammering on the floor above us. Then it got worse, and I could see the glass in the window wobbling. At that point, I got up and moved to the doorway. The tremors tapered off and the whole thing was over in about 40 seconds. So far, there haven't been any aftershocks but I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few more this evening.

Jim called about five minutes later to say they had evacuated the Kennedy Center (they weren't allowed back in for a hour) and many other buildings, including the Capitol, evacuated but I never left our office.

Everything seems to be ok. Metro is still running, but may have a few delays as they check out the tracks for damage. I'm sure Rex is all kinds of freaked out and I'm interested to see if anything fell down when I get home. If so, I'll come back and post a picture.

n.b. Rex seems to be unfazed and I couldn't find anything moved in the house.

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