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Earthquake Hits Virginia/D.C. Area

An earthquake struck Virginia a little before 2
p.m. on Tuesday, shaking houses in the D.C. suburbs and downtown and reportedly
prompting the evacuation of some D.C. office buildings. FCC officials were
not reachable for comment on whether that included the commission.

According to the USGS, the quake was a 5.9 on the Richter Scale and centered northwest of Richmond, Va.

CNN was reporting that it could be felt in Martha's Vineyard, where President Barack Obama is vacationing.

Capitol Hill offices were evacuated, according to Wolf Blitzer, who was on the street interviewing people about the quake. Blitzer said that the floor started to move in his CNN  Eighth Floor offices.

"Now we know what residents of California feel like," said an anchor on WUSA Washington, which, like all D.C. stations, dropped regular programming to cover the quake.

Most stations were reporting the quake as a 5.8 early on, but the USGS revised it to a 5.9.

The quake could give Washington policymakers a first-hand account of how emergency communications, like cell phone service, operate during an emergency.