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Skyscrapers evacuated as earthquake strikes Washington
An earthquake shook Washington on Tuesday, the strongest in a century. Earthquakes are quite rare in east America, causing fear among people and prompting the authorities to evacuate skyscrapers in New York.

WASHINGTON EXPERIENCED one of its biggest earthquakes ever (5.8-magnitude) on Tuesday. Since earthquakes are not common in the east, people took it for a terrorist attack and rushed down their office buildings and houses to get to the streets. Meanwhile, the authorities started an emergency evacuation in New York, fearing intense damage.

The quake lasted 20-30 seconds and its epicentre was located near the town of Mineral, Virginia. The quake was quite strong and tremors were also felt in Boston, Canada and Georgia. The authorities had to evacuate the Pentagon, the US Capitol and all historic monuments in Washington. However, much damage was not caused; and there were no casualty cases.

The National Cathedral in the capital reported some damage, while the nuclear power plant in North Anna, Virginia declared an alert after electricity went off from the grid. But, the electricity soon returned with the help of the safety systems and the nuclear plant resumed normal operations. Also, traffic was disturbed slightly in the capital because of the quake, while the rail services slowed down.

The quake also posed trouble for former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was planning to leave the country yesterday after been exonerated from sexual assault charges. But, he was unable to get his passport as the courthouse closed down early because of the quake.

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