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The mayor said the city is ready to request $10 million from its contingency reserve fund to cover the damage; it must repay it over the next two years.

However, he said, “I don’t think we’ll come anywhere near spending that kind of money.”

After slowing trains to 15 mph Tuesday, Metro was back up and running at full speed Wednesday morning, having completed an inspection of 106 miles of track without finding any damage.

Across the city, there were about 20 reports of structural collapses, many of which involved chimneys, said D.C. fire department spokesman Pete Piringer.

On one block in the Takoma neighborhood of Northwest, nearly every other house seemed to have lost its chimney, said Stephanie Kiefer, 23, who was helping her uncle with renovation work at his home when the earthquake struck and shook bricks loose.

“We could see dust coming of the side of the house and the chimney kept swaying back and forth,” she said. “It was sort of like a Jenga stack.”

In Virginia, Gov. Bob McDonnell and U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor toured damaged areas at the epicenter of the quake, assessing a supermarket in Mineral, Va., and walking through Louisa County High School.

“The damage is more widespread and more significant than the preliminary reports that we had gotten [Tuesday],” Mr. McDonnell said. “The great blessing out of this seems to be with an event of this proportion on the East Coast that there were no significant injuries.”

Mr. McDonnell pledged to Louisa and Mineral residents to “do everything we can at the state level to provide the relief that’s necessary.”

Mr. Cantor said a federal process is under way to assess the damage and address residents and businesses that may not have earthquake insurance.

The pair also toured the North Anna, Va., power station, whose two nuclear reactors shut down automatically Tuesday when the ground started to shake. Dominion Power said Wednesday that all walk-down inspections of equipment most susceptible to seismic activity found that the equipment was in “satisfactory condition.”

“Everything worked exactly as it was supposed to - the automatic shutdown occurring, all of the procedures - all the reports to the [Nuclear Regulatory Commission],” Mr. McDonnell said Wednesday morning.

The earthquake caused relatively minor damage in Maryland, where a handful of apartment buildings in Prince George’s and Calvert counties were evacuated overnight because of structural damage and severed water and gas lines, according to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.<t$>

The quake also damaged several vacant brick buildings in Baltimore, which spokesman Ed McDonough said were “in pretty bad disrepair to begin with.”

Mr. McDonough said the agency received no reports of injuries and began shifting its focus Tuesday night from the earthquake to Hurricane Irene’s anticipated arrival this weekend.

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