Delaware Valley Rattled By Earthquake

1 Delaware Valley Rattled By Earthquake

(credit: Montgomery Maxton Photography)


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

Workers near KYW Newsradio’s studios at 4th and Market Streets rushed outside. The same scene unfolded at 1555 Hamilton Street, the home of CBS 3 and CW Philly.

As the shaking began about 1:50 p.m., 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 woman gathered with hundreds of others on Market Street. She others people voiced concern about going back inside too quickly.

Both cell phone and land-line phone services were also impacted following the quake as those in the quake area swamped the infrastructure calling friends and family members.  Customers of AT&T remained without service for a short time after the earthquake.

Related Story: Citizens Bank Park Evacuated

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

PHOTO GALLERY:  Delaware Valley Earthquake Damage

Mayor Michael Nutter said there were no reports of injuries or major damage in Philadelphia as a result of the quake, but added that the city had received reports of broken windows and similar minor damage.

“At this time only minor building damage has been reported in Philadelphia. All major City of Philadelphia government buildings have been inspected and are re-opening with City employees returning to work,” city officials said in a statement released about two hours later.

SEPTA’s Broad Street subway line was suspended south of Walnut-Locust after a crack was discovered in a part of the infrastructure, said Deputy mayor Rina Cutler. A SEPTA spokesman later said service was restored after it was determined that the crack was old and did not endanger the line or its passengers.

The mayor said that all city workers were instructed to return to work about an hour after the earthquake struck, and all city services resumed.  Mayor Nutter added that both the city’s 911 and 311 telephone services operated properly throughout the quake incident.

The Philadelphia Court System was shut down for the remainder of the day.

Related Story: No Bigger Quake Expected To Follow, Says Expert

Owners of private buildings in Philadelphia were being instructed to contract their own engineers to determine the integrity of their structures. They were told to contact the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections in the event of problems.

Elizabeth Hur reports…

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake was centered in Mineral, Va., 3.7 miles deep in the earth. Shaking was felt at the White House and all over the East Coast, as far south as Chapel Hill, NC. Click here to see the USGS report.

“Little quakes occur on the east coast all the time, but mostly they’re ones that you’re not going to feel unless you’re extremely close to the epi center and even that it’s probably just a little shake,” said Jonathan Nyquist, chairman of the department of earth and environmental sciences at Temple University. “Big ones like this occur probably every 40-50 years.”

VIEW: Travel Guide I Weather I Traffic

Philadelphia International Airport issued a temporary “ground stoppage” due to the earthquake, and SEPTA ordered a temporary 25 mph speed limit on all rail lines until on-foot visual inspections of tracks could be made. Delays of up to 60 minutes on all SEPTA rail lines were reported.

To check the status of your flight and other transit and travel information, click here.

Where were you? Let us know in the comments below. If you have photos or video of damage, click here to share them with CBSPhilly.

  • Christopher VanSciver

    I was in bed and it was shaking, and I wasn’t making it this time if you get what I mean ;-) . West Deptford New Jersey

    • flint333

      you mean by stroking it?

    • Brie

      no, what DO you mean!? lol

  • Julia

    I felt it in export ps 15632 minor.

  • Donna

    Our entire hoouse and furniture shook here at Glendora,NJ.

  • Karen Liverman

    I was on my computer here in Pottstown when I started to rock in my chair, my monitor started to shake and the pictures on my walls started to shake.

  • Felonee Ketchum

    Northfield, NJ our house just shook as we were sitting in our living room watching TV. I thought my kids were doing something at first and then realized they were all in the same room as me! It was crazy. First earthquake I have ever felt.

  • Jameelah Jefferson

    Camden nj

  • Kathleen E. Biondi

    Felt the earthquake in Cape May Court House , NJ Cape May County. Working and the entire building shook

  • Tasnim Bhaiyat




    • Vern L


  • Bethany Brenner

    house shook, morgantown penslyvania me and my friend were sitting on the couch and we looked at eachtoher we said did you feel thatt 2?

  • Lance Parmer Company

    My car shook.

  • Stephanie Kohler

    We live in mertztown pa above Reading and we felt the bad shacking, we were evacuated from the local school on a tour.

  • Jeff

    Felt earthquake here in Dover the whole house shook I was saying what the heck is that!

  • John

    I was on my new porch, I thought they did a terrible job and my porch was collapsing…

    • Jill Hurley

      Your comment made me laugh. I’m glad your porch wasn’t collapsing.

    • anon513

      LMAO I’m glad your porch is alright too. That’s too funny.

  • Amiano and Son Construction

    Tabernacle NJ felt it.

  • Andrew Cressman

    Quakertown Pennsylvania. I was sitting at my desk at work and my chair started shaking. Thought I was going crazy at first.

  • Bud

    The chandeliers in our church sanctuary were swinging [Dover, DE]

  • Amy Wakefield

    My whole house shook over in blackwood, wow

  • Corey Bryant

    we felt it in Pennsville NJ to the whole hotel shook kinda scary but kinda gives me a rush

  • Mark Yoder

    I live in West Chester, PA and we felt it…a good 7-10 seconds of shaking!!!

  • valerie

    Im in Philadelphia and I felt absolutely everything shake. I was in my dinning room at home. This was the second earthquake I ever experienced, the first one was while I was in Panama.

  • Marilee

    I’m at work on Long Beach Island in NJ when it hit – shoot the entire building – first one for me!

  • Julie O

    North Wilmington – thought my printer was having issues until my entire office started shaking!

  • Sebrina

    New Jersey and New York felt it

  • Emilie

    I was at work in my office in Cherry Hill, NJ. And i felt the first part and thought nothing of it. But when the second portion hit. I jumped up confused knowing something was wrong.

  • Phoexniville Resident

    Uhhh, any word on the integrity of Limerick Towers nuclear plant?

    • Lee

      I’m more concerned about the North Anna nuclear plan in Louisa County, VA.

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