A 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., shook much of Washington, D.C., and was felt as far north as Rhode Island, New York City and Martha's Vineyard, Mass., where President Barack Obama was vacationing. It was also felt as far south as Chapel Hill, N.C.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was half a mile deep. Parts of the Pentagon, White House and Capitol were evacuated as were various buildings in New York and other East Coast cities. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Click ahead for scenes from the moments following the earthquake.
Posted 23 Aug 2011
A detail photograph of the north side of the Washington Monument on the National Mall August 24, 2011, in Washington, D.C. It was announced that the Washington Monument would be closed "indefinitely" in the wake of the earthquake due to cracks near the top of the 555-foot-tall obelisk.
In Vienna, Virginia, west of Washington D.C., a wall collapses and damages nearby cars during the earthquake on August 23, 2011.
A photo taken outside the New York Mercantile Exchange. The evacuations were not "official" and some traders remained inside the exchange as trading continued.
Buildings around Washington D.C., including many government buildings were evacuated following the earthquake. Pictured here, people are evacuated from the headquarters of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a labor union, on Louisiana Avenue.
People stand outside of their buildings after being evacuated following the earthquake. The 5.8 magnitude quake didn't appear to cause any injuries.
People gather outdoors in Washington D.C., minutes following quake. Government buildings were evacuated and phone lines were overloaded as people worked to understand the recent events.
A Parks Police helicopter inspects the Washington Monument shortly after the earthquake struck. Later, cracks were discovered near the top of the monument.
People waited outside of their buildings in New York City until safety officials could give them the all-clear signal to re-enter.
In the minutes after the earthquake, communications systems were overloaded and work crews in Washington, D.C., responded to get service back on-line.
Staff and employees from the Australian Embassy rally around a designated point outside their building after the earthquake. Two nuclear power plants at the North Anna Power Station in the same county were reportedly taken offline.