NEW YORK — A magnitude-5.9 earthquake struck Virginia
at about 1:50 p.m. EDT, the U.S. Geological Survey reported Tuesday.
Tremors were felt in New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, Tennessee and the
In New York City, some buildings were evacuated, and
residents poured out of apartment buildings. “What happened?” one young
woman, clutching her large black cat, asked as she rushed onto the
street. The woman had been in her seventh-floor apartment in Brooklyn
when the brick building began shaking and swaying.
The Associated Press said the Pentagon was being
evacuated. The quake also interrupted a news conference that was about
to be held by the New York district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., about the
dropping of charges against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Vance was about to begin speaking to a room full of reporters, on the
eighth floor of a building, when the shaking began.
Everyone jumped up and headed for the stairs. “No one
really yelled. We were just trying to decipher … what was going on,”
said a local TV reporter, Luz Plasencia, speaking to NY1, the city’s
all-news channel. “We just said this is obviously not right. Let’s just
get out of here.”
She said the obvious fear was that the city was being
attacked. “All I could think of was I need to get out of here, I need
to get outside, praying and hoping nothing would happen when we were in
The impact was felt immediately on — where else? — Twitter.
“5.8 magnitude!!! Really? An earthquake? I’m very skeptical. Maybe it was something else … Hmm …” @JamesWagnerWP
“earthquake in NYC!” @laughingsquid
“An earthquake feels surprisingly like a panic attack. I thought my heart was just beating like crazy.” @woodlandalyssa
And because you knew someone had to say it, there’s this:
“Now you know what it feels like on the West Coast, East Coast! :D” @hafelina
(c) 2011, Los Angeles Times.
Visit the Los Angeles Times on the Internet at http://www.latimes.com/.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.