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Posted at 01:58 PM ET, 08/23/2011

East Coast earthquake: 5.8 magnitude epicenter hits Virginia


People flood the streets outside The Washington Post, moments after an earthquake hit Washington. (David Nakamura/The Washington Post)
An earthquake hit the East Coast Tuesday afternoon, rattling nerves up and down the coast. The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake hit near the town of Mineral, Va. with a 5.8 magnitude , possibly the strongest quake to ever hit Virginia.

People reported feeling the ground move as far north as Portland, Maine, and as far south as Anderson, S.C. A Columbus, Ohio, government worker reported the building shook there, as well. The earthquake’s epicenter is located near the North Anna nuclear power plant. No damage has been reported at the plant, but two nuclear reactors have been shut down.

In Washington, people spilled out onto the streets. Three pinnacles from the central tower of the National Cathedral fell off, there are reports that two floors of the Pentagon have flooded, and a possible fire broke out in one of the Senate buildings.

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By  |  01:58 PM ET, 08/23/2011

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