PELHAM, N.Y. -- 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.
The Pelham Police Department told The Daily Pelham a few residents called headquarters to report shaking, but no damages occurred. Pelham Manor police said that no one has called headquarters about the earthquake, but an officer did say he felt shaking.
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 doors 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 Barack Obama is vacationing.
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.
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 evacuated 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.
One local point that may be a concern in the Westchester area in the event of an earthquake is the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. However, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the power plant was unaffected by the tremor and aftershocks. Still, the power plant is running on abnormal operating procedures.
The National Weather Service says there is no tsunami threat to the eastern seaboard.
Check back for more information as it becomes available.
Contact Pelham reporter Andrew Meola at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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