Video: Cracks found in Washington Monument after quake

  1. Closed captioning of: Cracks found in Washington Monument after quake

    >>> now to the aftermath of the earthquake that rattled the east coast yesterday, perhaps 100 million people felt it. today damage assessment and the big concern is what they found at the washington monument . tom costello joins me from there. tom?

    >> reporter: hi, lester, good evening, they found a crack at the very top of the washington amo monument, it's about an inch, about four feet long. at least for now, this 555 foot building is off limits to the public. more surveillance camera video of the moment it all started, 1:51 p.m . and everyone, it seems has a story to tell.

    >> it was like this big shake and then a pause for like three seconds and then it shook more.

    >> reporter: in washington the chief concern remains the cracks near the top of the 137-year-old washington monument , it remains closed as structural engineers survey the damage.

    >> they need to probably go back tomorrow and again on friday to determine what is going to be necessary.

    >> reporter: on capitol hill , crews have cleaned up the paint chips and plaster that fell from the capitol dome but today more cracks were found running along the walls of two committee hearing rooms. mean while the national cathedral has no insurance to pay for the damage, it's also closed for now. the most powerful quake to hit the east coast in 67 years shook buildings and people as far north as montreal, as far south as atlanta and chicago to the west. at the epicenter of the quake, 90 miles south of d.c. in mineral, virginia, they spent today shoring up and picking up. while the overall damage was minor, yesterday may have been a much-needed wakeup call to disaster or terror response plans. in d.c. , traffic was in gridlock yesterday.

    >> when everybody leaves at the same time, we don't make a lot of progress.

    >> reporter: as d.c. 's mass exodus hit the highways.

    >> the one thing the district of columbia should learn from yesterday's event is evacuation planning as it's currently predicated is not working.

    >> reporter: and across the east coast , cell phone service was also overwhelmed and jammed while texting generally got through. amazing information there, texting and also social media works. remember that in the event of an emergency. but also amazing is there was no significant to dams, to nuclear power plants , to bridges, to airports so. even tomorrow, most of the federal buildings that were closed today along with d.c. area schools are expected to reopen.

msnbc.com news services
updated 8/25/2011 7:52:34 AM ET 2011-08-25T11:52:34

A 4.5-magnitude earthquake that rattled the Washington, D.C.-area early Thursday was at least the fifth aftershock in the wake of the strongest temblor to strike the East Coast since World War II .

Tuesday's 5.8-magnitude earthquake, with an epicenter in central Virginia, shook people from Georgia to Canada.

Story: Landmarks inspected for hidden damage a day after quake

The U.S. Geological Survey said that Thursday morning's aftershock struck about 3 miles deep in central Virginia at 1:07 a.m. ET. The other aftershocks have been of lesser magnitude, with the lowest registering at 2.2.

Story: 'Hey East Coast, the entire West Coast is mocking you right now'

Amy Vaughan, a geophysicist with the agency's National Earthquake Information Center in Colorado, said the number of aftershocks so far has been remarkably low.

Vaughan said the agency isn't sure what to expect, but it's likely there will be some more for days, if not weeks. Typically, the larger the quake, the longer and the greater extent of aftershocks.

"For days or weeks, we could expect aftershocks like this,"the Washington Post quoted Vaughn as saying.

Story: Washington, D.C., zoo animals go wild ahead of quake

Vaughn told the Post that the USGS had received 6,800 reports from people who felt Thursday's aftershock.

The Post reported that dozens of local schools remained closed Thursday as a result of Tuesday's quake.

Video: Expert: As days pass, aftershocks less likely (on this page)

Structural engineering teams examined local buildings and monuments throughout Wednesday for potentially dangerous damage from the earthquake, the Post reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Interactive: East Coast tremor

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