UPDATE: Earthquake in Va. felt in greater Augusta area

Earthquake
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Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A 5.8-magnitude hit Eastern Virginia around 1:57 p.m. Tuesday.

The Associated Press is reporting that the earthquake was half a mile deep. The quake's epicenter was in Mineral, Va., about 40 miles north of Richmond.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Spokesperson Rachel Racusen issued a statement after the earthquake.

"Though there are no early reports of major damage or requests for assistance at this time, preliminary damage assessments are currently taking place in all affected states and we will continue to work closely with their emergency management officials," Racusen said in the statement.

According to the statement, there have been many reports of cell phone congestion. FEMA is requesting that people use email or text messaging in lieu of phone calls if possible so emergency crews can respond to urgent calls.

Minor injuries have been reported -- no deaths or severe injuries have been reported at this time.

The AP is reporting that all National Mall monuments have been evacuated and closed -- so far, no damage has been reported there. The National Cathedral has sustained significant damage.

There hasn't been an earthquake this large on the East Coast since a 1944 one in New York, according to The AP.

News 12 is hearing reports from viewers all over the CSRA -- from Grovetown to Aiken -- who felt the tremors.

We are also hearing from viewers nationwide. Tremors were felt all the way from Ohio and Kentucky to North Carolina.

Jordan Freking, who works in Richmond, Va., said she was evacuated for 30 minutes.

"Now everyone's basically back to work," said the USC alumna on Facebook. "No damaged buildings or anything."

Morgan Reid, a USC alumna who works in Bethesda, Md., said there isn't any damage that she can see.

"I think it was so bad for my office because we're up high," Reid said in a tweet. "Just scary, but everyone is OK."

Linlee DuBard, a USC alumna who also works in the D.C. area, said she can't see any damage and that there is very little cell service.

"Everyone is on high alert; evacuated buildings," Dubard said in a tweet. "Bad thoughts running wild."

News 12 will keep you updated on the latest.





Earthquake evacuation
Employees evacuating a building in Bethesda, Md., during Tuesday's earthquake. (Courtesy of Morgan Reid)
Passerby standing outside a Starbucks in Bethesda, Md., after Tuesday's earthquake. (Courtesy of Morgan Reid)