The Two-Way
9:00 am
Wed August 24, 2011

Terror Fears Made East Coast Earthquake Especially Unsettling

There was supposedly some "snickering" from jaded folks on the West Coast of the U.S. on Tuesday as they watched many on the East Coast express alarm and surprise over the 5.8-magnitude earthquake that shook things from the Carolina's to New England.

But stories today underscore the reason why East Coasters may be particularly edgy when the ground beneath them suddenly starts rolling.

"In Washington, 10 years later, every day is Sept. 12," writes The Washington Post's Marc Fisher. "When the office ceiling shifts to and fro, and the pens and cups fall off the desk, it's scary enough. But in a terror-scarred city, thoughts go immediately to evil attack rather than natural disaster."

Or, as the Los Angeles Times says, "when a building shakes in Washington, 'earthquake' does not spring to mind. Instead, as the magnitude 5.8 earthquake shook the capital on Tuesday, it sparked immediate fears of a terrorist attack for congressional staff members accustomed to repeated warnings about man-made threats."

The same is true in Manhattan. "When the buildings shook due to Tuesday's earthquake, many people in the neighborhood around the World Trade Center felt a particular fear," reports Lindsey Christ of NY1.com. "Workers were told to immediately evacuate a hotel under construction in Battery Park City. 'I thought it was a terrorist or something, so I just started running for my life,' said an area worker."

As for other earthquake-related news:

-- Off-Site Power Restored At Nuclear Plant: "Dominion Virginia Power's North Anna Power Station restored off-site power [to its cooling systems] late Tuesday after the plant in Louisa County shut down both its reactors in response to the 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered nearby in the county. The restoration means the plant no longer is relying on back-up generators, a Dominion news release says." (The Virginian-Pilot)

Dominion Power says it has found no damage at the plant.

-- More Aftershocks: The U.S. Geological Survey says that around 8:04 p.m. ET last night there was a 4.2-magnitude aftershock in the same part of north central Virginia as yesterday's larger quake. And, there was a 3.4-magnitude temblor around 12:45 a.m. ET this morning. There have now been four aftershocks since Tuesday's afternoon's quake.

-- Washington Monument Remains Closed: "Some cracking in the stones at the top of the Monument" mean it will be closed to visitors indefinitely.

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