I didn’t think too much about yesterday’s 5.8-magnitude earthquake that rattled a huge chunk of eastern North America (it was felt as far south as Atlanta, as far north as Montreal, as far west as Chicago, and was epicentered in the small town of Mineral, Virginia). After watching The TODAY Show report this morning, however, I realized just how much it shook everyone up. The Washington Monument (the world’s tallest masonry structure which completed construction in 1884 — and is not reinforced) gave some serious concerns to engineers yesterday when they noticed a very troubling crack near the top). A great deal of plaster work crumbled apart from inside the dome of the Capitol Building, 3 of the 4 ornamental spires that adorn the tower of Washington’s National Cathedral came tumbling down, and the little town of Mineral suffered some hefty damage as well. An untold number of buildings were also evacuated in the more heavily-populated areas. In New York, construction workers at the World Trade Center came running out of the site immediately, and countless people in NYC and D.C. initially thought the event was some sort of attack, especially those working in the Pentagon and Manhattan’s downtown area.
“Dominion Virginia Power’s North Anna nuclear power station restored off-site power [to its cooling systems] late Tuesday after the plant in Louisa County shut down both its reactors in response to the 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered nearby in the county. The restoration means the plant no longer is relying on back-up generators,” a Dominion news release says. The U.S. Geological Survey says that around 8:04 p.m. ET last night there was a 4.2-magnitude aftershock in the same part of north central Virginia as yesterday’s larger quake. And, there was a 3.4-magnitude temblor around 12:45 a.m. ET this morning. There have now been four aftershocks since Tuesday’s afternoon’s quake.