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Virginia Earthquake Felt in Norwalk

An earthquake in Virginia shook buildings up and down the east coast including Westchester, Fairfield County and New York City Tuesday afternoon.

The 5.9 magnitude temblor was centered near Mineral, Va., according to the United States Geological Survey (USGC). It hit around 1:51 p.m. Tuesday.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the Indian Point nuclear power plant was unaffected by the tremor and aftershocks.

Carolynn Moen , who works at IBM in Hawthorne, described on Facebook what she experienced. “The building swayed, open doors were going back and forth, I am on the second of fourth floors...chairs rolled a bit...while in my chair...I felt the swaying in the small of my back. People on the ground level left the building, but no evacuation announcement issued. Now we are cautious of aftershocks.”

Ned McCormack, a spokesperson for Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, said the county believes there was no serious damage or injuries in the county.

In White Plains, both the county and federal courthouses were briefly evacuated, but door reopened around 3 p.m.

Andrea Graziano, an editor for Main Street Connect, was visiting Washington D.C. with her family Tuesday and was evacuated from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History when the earthquake struck.

“Everyone remained calm but immediately made their way out the buildings, some people loudly telling family members to stay away from the elevators,” Graziano said. “At the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History gift stands were abandoned. Outside people grabbed their cellphones to attempt phone calls or texts. Security workers efficiently cleared sidewalks.”

The sound of sirens echoed throughout the city. Mineral is 90 miles south and west of Washington, D.C. It was also reportedly felt in Martha's Vineyard, where President Obama is vacationing.

“All buildings have been evacuated,” Graziano said.  “People are standing outside. Emergency vehicles are rushing right now down Pennsylvania Avenue away from White House, seems to be something going on that way.”

In Armonk, buildings shook and workers on Business Park Drive rushed out of offices into the parking lots outside. At first, no one seemed certain whether what they felt had actually been an earthquake, until others filed out with sketchy news reports.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority said railroads are operating normally. The Holland Tunnel, which connects Manhattan to New Jersey, was closed for inspection, but reopened around 3 p.m.

Taller buildings were evacauted in Manhattan. The earthquake was felt as far north as Concord, N.H.

Local law enforcement and communities are assessing damage, but buildings shook throughout the region. Some buildings have been evacuated, including some in Washington, D.C.

The National Weather Service says there is no tsunami threat to the eastern seaboard.

Check back for more information as it becomes available.

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