The Washington Times - August 23, 2011, 02:42PM

*UPDATE 4: (via NBC News Washington) Cracks found in stones near the top of the Washington Monument:

The cracking in the Monument was discovered during a secondary inspection. Structural engineers will evaluate the cracks Wednesday and determine how to repair them before the Monument is reopened.


*UPDATE 3: (via NBC News Washington): National Park Service: Washington Monument is not tilting

The NPS said it is evaluating the structures to ensure that they are structurally sound and safe for all visitors.

Agency spokesman Jeffrey Olson told the AP that there was “absolutely no damage” to the Washington Monument, contrary to media reports elsewhere that it was leaning.

“Absolutely incorrect,” U.S. Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser said of media reports that the Washington Monument was leaning.  “It stands tall and proud.”

However, the Washington Monument, because of its structural complexities, will remain closed until further notice, according to the NPS. 

*UPDATE 2: (via Real Clear Politics): CNN is reporting that “some stones are loose” at the Washington Monument. 

*UPDATE 1:(via The Hillis reporting that the Park Service is stating there is no serious damage to any of D.C.’s national monuments:

U.S. Park Police in Washington made an initial survey of the city’s monuments after a 5.9 magnitude earthquake and found no serious damage.

According to The Washington Post, the Park Police checked the monuments by helicopter shortly after the earthquake on Tuesday.


A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered around Richmond, Virginia was felt as far as New York City and New England. 

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly reported around 2:30 pm that their bureau received information from a producer that a Captiol Hill Police officer said the Washington Monument may actually be tilting as a result of the earthquake.

Seismologist John Rundle joined Kelly on her show and confirmed that the Washington Monument could very well be tilting as a result of the earthquake and the structure should be checked out.

Two nuclear reactors have reportedly been taken off line near the epicenter of the earthquake.

According to the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., shook much of Washington, D.C., and was felt as far north as Rhode Island, New York City and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., where President Barack Obama is vacationing.The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was half a mile deep.

Shaking was felt at the White House and all over the East Coast, as far south as Chapel Hill, N.C. Parts of the Pentagon, White House and Capitol were evacuated. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

It was centered near Louisa, Va., which is northwest of Richmond and south of Washington.

Obama and many of the nation’s leaders were out of town on August vacation when the quake struck at 1:51 p.m. EDT. The shaking was felt on the Martha’s Vineyard golf course as Obama was just starting a round.

The East Coast gets earthquakes, but usually smaller ones and is less prepared than California or Alaska for shaking.At Reagan National Airport outside Washington, ceiling tiles fell during a few seconds of shaking.

Authorities announced it was an earthquake and all flights were put on hold.

At the Pentagon in northern Virginia, a low rumbling built and built to the point that the building was shaking. People ran into the corridors of the government’s biggest building and as the shaking continued there were shouts of “Evacuate! Evacuate!”