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Eastern U.S. Sustains Damage From Major Earthquake August 26, 2011
Quake Map of Virginia
A broad swath of the eastern United States and adjacent parts of Canada were jolted Tuesday afternoon by the strongest earthquake to strike the region since World War II.

The 5.8 magnitude jolt caused light or moderate damage from near its eastern Virginia epicenter, northward to Washington, DC, and even the New York City area.

There were no known deaths or serious injures due to the shaking, which sent countless numbers of people pouring out of buildings from Georgia to Toronto.

Most of the significant damage was in the form of toppled chimneys or shattered masonry.

That included the capital’s Washington Monument, which was forced to close for repairs. Damage was also reported inside the U.S. Capitol.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at 1:51 p.m. local time about five miles south-southwest of Mineral, Virginia, and 85 miles southwest of Washington, DC.

A combination of it’s shallow depth and the solid geological bedrock beneath much of the Eastern United States was responsible for the extent of damage and for the shaking being so widely felt, according to seismologists.

The quake was Virginia’s strongest since an estimated 4.8 magnitude quake did comparable damage in 1875. The last quake of equal power to strike the Eastern U.S. occurred in New York during 1944.