Delaware workers stream into streets after feeling earthquake

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia has been felt in Delaware.

In downtown Wilmington, the streets were filled with people who had evacuated shaking buildings as a result of tremors that hit the area just before 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

Sarah Kenney was working on the third floor of her building when the shaking began.

“I thought maybe it was a bus going by but it just kept going and going,” she said. “And all my co-workers are coming out and kind of hollering down the hallway.”

According to the Delaware Emergency Management Agency the only report of any damage is a single gas line rupture. DEMA spokesperson Rosanne Pack did not know the location of the rupture but said that it was “being handled appropriately.”

There are also reports of minimal power outages throughout the state. Lawmakers and staff were evacuated from Legislative Hall in Dover as a precaution, and there are big problems getting cell phone service in downtown Wilmington and elsewhere.

According to DEMA, Wilmington experienced a 1 to 2 level intensity reading from the earthquake. A 1 or 2 intensity level reading is enough to produce shaking or slight swaying of buildings, but does not produce any structural damage.

City of Wilmington government offices are open and have returned to normal duty.

Initial reports in from the four districts serving the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) are that no damage was suffered among the department’s various infrastructure of roadways and bridges.

“The emergency operation offices in each of the counties and the City of Wilmington were contacted and they report no damages,” Pack said.

The earthquake shook much of Washington, D.C., and was felt as far north as Rhode Island and New York City.

It was certainly noticed on North Orange Street in Wilmington where Jason Spencer was working. Moments after the tremors, Spencer was outside his building, smoking a cigarette and trying to relax.

“I feel weird, I’m having an anxiety attack, I’m not feeling comfortable,” Spencer said. “I don’t know, I’ve never experienced this before.”

Nearby, Tashiya Mitchell was hoping the quake wasn’t just the beginning of something a lot worse.

“Maybe the world is coming to an end, like they predicted.”

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was 3.7 miles 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. The quake was in Mineral, Va., in Louisa County.

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