Disruptions Reported From 5.8 Earthquake on East Coast

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Published August 23, 2011

| FOXBusiness

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck the East Coast on Tuesday afternoon, rattling people from the Capitol through Times Square and as north as Marthas Vineyard. While financial markets were largely unaffected, the tremors have caused some disruption:

Phones

-Some cell service was interrupted. AT&T reported service disruptions and Verizon Wireless said its networks were congested;

-Verizon Wireless spokesperson Tim Pica told the Associated Press there was no damage to the companys equipment, but a significant increase in phone calls led to congestion on its network for about 20 minutes;

-Sprint said some customers may have experienced delays.

Travel

-The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey had said its control towers and airfields would need to be reinspected before flights could resume;

- The FAA grounded some flights between D.C, Philadelphia and New York;

-JFK and Newark airports were shut down but resumed shortly after. La Guardia continued to run as usual;

-Amtrak train service along the Northeast Corridor between Baltimore and Washington D.C. is operating at reduced speeds due to the earthquake. Amtrak crews are working to inspect stations and railroad infrastructure before returning to normal operation;

-Terminal A at Washington Reagan National Airport was evacuated because of an odor of gas following the earthquake, but initial sweeps of the building showed no major damage;

-The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) says delays can be expected in heavy traffic around D.C. The Metro is running on limited service. 

Energy

-Dominion North Anna Nuclear Plant in Virginia was tripped due to the earthquake. It has lost some power and is running on diesel generators to maintain cooling operations. While the company's stock tumbled 3% shortly after 1PM EST, it has since recovered half its losses;

-A total of 10 nuclear plants on the East Coast have declared Unusual Events, according to the NRC. Those affected: North Anna and Surry in Virginia; Hope Creek Oyster Creek and Salem in N.J.; Susquehanna, Three Mile Island, Peach Bottom and Limerick in Pennsylvania and Calbert Cliffs in Maryland.

Evacuations

-Many buildings in and around the Capitol were evacuated. USCP spokeswoman Kim Schneider said: The Congressional buildings are being evacuated due to the tremors felt in the National Capital Region. All Staff are to respond to their assigned assembly area and report to their Office Emergency Coordinator. The U.S. Capitol Police and AOC are continuing to investigate all Congressional Buildings and structural defects and the White House is expected to make a statement soon;

-The USCP said buildings could re-open in the next few hours. It says, as of now, Wednesday is "expected to be a regular workday."

-D.C. public schools were evacuated but students were safe and parents were able to pick up their children;

-The NASDAQ and New York Stock Exchange continued business as usual; however companies reported feeling the tremors in New York City. UBS told FOX Business employees were evacuated from its Midtown building. Goldman Sachs traders told FOX Business they felt the Goldman building located near Ground Zero shake during the tremors.

No major injuries have been reported. 

URL

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/08/23/magnitude-5-earthquake-strikes-east-coast-causes-disruptions/