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5.8 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Up The East Coast

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Published on Aug 23, 2011

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 5.9 magnitude centered northwest of Richmond, Va. shook most of the East Coast, including Philadelphia and New York City, today. The quake was felt as far as north as Rhode Island.

Numerous buildings in center city Philadelphia, including Philadelphia City Hall, were evacuated as a precaution, and many people around the Delaware Valley reported feeling structures rattle and shake.

KYW's Tony Hanson reports that in Old City, near our studios at 4th and Market Streets, workers in buildings rushed outside.

As the shaking began about 2 PM, people say they at first considered the possible causes — maybe it was a subway train or large truck passing by. But within seconds, they realized this was something else.

"The earth moved, our desks moved, the computers moved, we moved. We got out," said one women gathered with hundreds of others on Market Street.

(Hanson:) "Was there an official evacuation of the building, or you just left?"

(Woman:) "We left. We used wisdom and we walked out."

She and lots of other people voiced concern about going back inside too quickly.

Both cell phone and landline phone services were also impacted following the quake as those in the quake area swamped the infrastructure calling friends and family members. Customers of several carriers remained without service for a time after the earthquake.

Phone calls and e-mails from around the Delaware Valley poured into CBS-3 and KYW Newsradio and those in the earthquake zone sought confirmation of what their bodies were telling them.

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