WASHINGTON: One of the strongest earthquakes to strike the US east coast in decades rattled offices Tuesday in downtown Washington and caused panicked evacuations from skyscrapers as far away as New York. The Pentagon, the US Capitol and Union Station in the nation’s capital were all evacuated after the 5.9-magnitude quake, which was shallow with its epicentre only 0.6 miles (one kilometre) underground. The disruption to cell phone services in the hour after the quake added to the sense of panic in a country preparing to mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. `In New York, thousands of people poured onto the streets as evacuation procedures put into place after September 11 attacks were activated.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th, 2011.