News - Local Philadelphia

Lots of shock, but little damage in Philly after earthquake

Local Philadelphia

Erin Wright, Yahoo! Philly Editor

It might have felt as if a neighbor had turned the music up too loud, again, but generally, even the loudest tunes don't make entire buildings in Philadelphia shake.

Yet that's what happened in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York and many points south, north and west on Tuesday. Buildings, monuments, and people trembled while as the earth did as many East Coasters got their first taste of what an earthquake was like. Yes, an earthquake -- you know, the thing people usually associate with the West Coast and use as justification as to why they could never, never live out there? Yes, that actually happened here on the East Coast, and people in the three cities above are still buzzing about it.

Of course, as when all huge things happen, social media went crazy, with tons of people in the affected areas taking to the Internet to get confirmation, commiserate, and just air out their disbelief on a very large, very public stage.

"DID WE JUST LIVETWEET AN EARTHQUAKE?"

"Whoa ... anyone feel that?"

"My building just shook ..."

"This is Philly! Philly?! What the --- is going on?"

"Anybody know if the subways are running?"

"I thought our Olinemen were running up n down the halls.... Guess not" <--- Kurt Coleman, live-Tweeting from the Eagles locker room.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey website and wire reports, what was going on, was a 5.9-magnitude quake that struck about 34 miles west of Richmond, Virginia,  sending tremors up the coast to D.C., Philly and New York.

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Across Philly, visitors and residents stopped dead in their tracks, some holding on to poles and tethered bicycles as the ground rolled beneath their feet. After it was all over, people streamed out into the streets, inspecting cracked windows and snapping cellphone pictures.

Those in Atlantic City were a little more pragmatic. The boardwalk rocked, but reports are that gamblers at the Hilton felt the tremors and shrugged them off, maybe feeling they had more to lose at the tables than in a mild earthquake.

The Comcast Center closed down early and all City Council employees sent home for the day, though Mayor Nutter has said there was no major damage to any government buildings and city workers are clear to resume their duties. SEPTA was running behind schedule (usually don't need an earthquake for that to happen, though), but according to their website, speed restrictions have been lifted and all is well. And for those who were a little concerned, no worries: there WILL be baseball tonight at Citizens' Bank Park.

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