Strong Earthquake Gives East Coast a Scare

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WASHINGTON -- A 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit just northwest of Richmond, Va. Monday, sending tremors up and down the East Coast.

The earthquake only lasted a few seconds, but it was long enough to rock the nation's capital.

Evacuations were prompted in Washington, D.C., following the quake. Shakes were also felt in North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Michigan and Georgia.

"The windows were shaking pretty strongly, so you could hear the noise like bam, bam, bang," one Washington, D.C. resident said.

"It came in sort of like two stages," another resident recalled. "There was the first wave and then sort of a secondary wave that came afterward."

"It felt like my chair was moving," another person added.

People immediately began pouring out of office buildings.

"It was scary when it started shaking," one person described the quake. "I jumped under my desk immediately.

"When it didn't stop and when you could hear the creaking of the walls and windows," one rattled office worker told CBN News. "That's when we realized and everybody just dipped -- the entire office."

The quake was felt in the White House, the Capitol building and the Pentagon. Parts of all three buildings were evacuated.

One California seemed unfazed.

"I'm from California, so I'm kind of used to it," she said.

But residents on the East Coast are not. Earthquakes here are usually much smaller.

Many people who work in Washington were at work nearly 10 years ago on 9/11 when a plane slammed into the Pentagon.

One woman told CBN News she was at work that day and felt the impact of that crash. She said Tuesday's quake reminded her of the tragedy, adding that she was thankful it was just an earthquake.

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Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.