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Quake Damages Washington Monument, Other Buildings In D.C.

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WASHINGTON (WJZ)– The earthquake that struck the East Coast on Tuesday caused some damage in our nation’s capital.

Adam May has more.

Inspectors have determined most of the federal government buildings and landmarks in Washington, D.C. are structurally sound, but a few, including the Washington Monument, have been deemed unsafe.

When the ground shook in Washington, D.C. Tuesday afternoon from a 5.8 point magnitude earthquake, National Park crews found at least one crack on the Washington Monument. It’s near the top part of the 555-foot high tower.

“Based on the fact that it’s a very old building and we had a substantial movement here, it’s something we need to address,” said Sgt. David Schollser of the U.S. Park Police.

Stone masons also assessed damage to the Washington National Cathedral. Statues were knocked loose and capstones crashed to the ground below.

“Without a doubt, the top of the tower is the absolute worst,” Joe Alonso, the head mason, said.

The damage is not structural, but repairs will cost millions of dollars.

Not far from the epicenter of the quake, the North Anna Nuclear Plant was shut down. Inspectors are going through every inch of it looking for damage.

“The power plant is safe, the operators responded well, but units were shut down, maintained in a safe condition, no release of radi activity,” an official from the nuclear plant said.

The plant is designed to withstand earthquakes that measure up to 6.2 magnitude, making this quake close to maximum.

The U.S. Capitol was spared significant damage, but some minor cracks to walls and ceilings need repair.

There’s no telling when tourists will be allowed back inside Washington Monument. It is closed indefinitely.

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