Yes Virginia, there is a fault line.
I was sitting in a meeting yesterday when it happened. I thought initially that I was having a dizzy spell but that changed quickly as I watched others around me react and as the shakin’ gradually got stronger.
Having lived in Japan for nearly three years, I recognized after a moment that we’d just experienced a quake. I said something to somebody about thinking that this was at least a 5.0 on the Richter scale (turned out to be a 5.9).
We were roughly 120 miles from the epicenter which was just outside of Mineral, Virginia. The shaking didn’t last long… I’m guessing 20 seconds or so but it was certainly alarming. Buildings where I worked were evacuated for a short while and cell phone service was non-existent for a decent time as networks were saturated with users trying to reach loved ones. Both sons were able to get texts to me, each asking “Did you feel that?”. The oldest lives on the 13th floor of an apartment complex in Arlington and later told me the swaying was definitely nerve wracking.
There are reports of damage in some areas, to include cracks in the Washington Monument in DC as as well as some spires falling off the National Cathedral but mostly we were thankfully spared.
The following picture giving a sampling of the devastation done locally:
@TPCarney: Krugman says it wasn’t big enough.
@comradescott: Evidently the quake occurred on a little known fault line outside of DC called “Bush’s Fault”. #tcot #p2
@calebhowe: Breaking: Obama administration points out they “inherited” fault lines from previous administrations.
@MaizeBlueNation: Fox News claims the Washington monument is leaning to the right, MSNBC claims it’s leaning to the left. More news at 11.
@charliespiering: I won’t stop shaking until Obama makes a speech telling me that everything is ok and that he has a plan
@Ben_Howe: As all of DC leaves work at the same time, the United States experiences a brief economic recovery.
@daveweigel: Was all set to loot in Dupont circle, then realized all we have are taco and cupcake stores.
@BrianHughes_: I wish I owned a bar in D.C. right now. #chaching
@JimPethokoukis Shot: Virginia Earthquake Chaser: Hurricane Irene