|USGS map showing the strength and location of the 5.9 quake. The worst earthquake in anyone's lifetime.|
Northern Virginia and the nation's capitol experienced a 5.9 earthquake at 1:51p.m. EST. Speaking with relatives in Reston, VA and Frederick, MD, they reported light shaking for about 10 seconds, and then a moderately violent shake for about 3 seconds. The earthquake was near Lake Anna, VA, which is about 100 miles southwest of Washington, D.C..
UPDATE from TBD.com: Two nuclear reactors near the epicenter have been taken off-line. Howard County and Prince Georges County Schools are now being evacuated. Planes at Ronald Reagan National Airport are on a ground stoppage. D.C. Metro trains are currently restricted to 15MPH, causing major delays throughout the evening. The U.S. Capitol buildings, The Pentagon, and most critical government facilities within the District are now evacuated. Massive traffic delays are expected during the afternoon and into the evening.
The quake was only 1/2 mile below the surface and noticeably shook buildings in downtown D.C., which sits atop a very think layer of clay. D.C. sits on an ancient wetlands area containing loose and moist soils. More reports will come soon telling of settling and areas of liquefaction.