It rose out of nowhere, otherwise known as 3.7 miles below ground in a section of Virginia far from DC, but as of this writing, today’s geologic event is being called the “DC earthquake.” In the middle of the working day, government employees, among the last people in the country with jobs, evacuated their buildings in case one of them had a crack after the 5.9-level quake shook the eastern seaboard for something around 10 seconds.
J. McKinley covered the devastation on his blog, and other people began using their only means of communication—social networks—to make sure everyone was okay.
Turns out, all of the twittering about the quake reached residents of New York City before the shock waves did. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was accused in The Huffington Post for letting his site’s users “spoil” the surprise for New York. One young man, stumbling down the sidewalk in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, said he ran outside once the quake tweets rolled in, because, “Brooklyn’s not ready for that sh*t.”
Other New York City veterans weren’t as concerned.
“DC thinks it’s all that. Well let me tell you, DC, you’re nothing special. NYC is always going to be cooler than you, so get used to it,” said Skru Ventures, as he ordered a half-caf soy latte from a street vendor in the Chelsea section of Manhattan.
Bystanders in the Big Apple concurred with Ventures’ sentiment.
“Our buildings are older and taller,” said 27-year-old Kael Lumberton, a recent addition to the city from his hometown in Kansas. “If anything is going to fall down from an east coast earthquake, it’ll be here, not in DC.” He looked up at the skyline nervously after granting a quick interview.
But DC is standing by its earthquake.
“Nobody takes us seriously,” said Deanna Jackson, stepping past the boundary marker with Maryland as she shopped at the Saks Fifth Avenue store in the District. “We have tall buildings. The Capitol is 1,776 feet tall, you know.”
In the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Northwest, near the Capitol and monuments, shopkeepers were outside their stores, sweeping the sidewalks clean of any glass shards or other debris after the quake. Martin S. Rasmussen, a corner grocery employee, collected some waste into a dustbin.
“It’s from a car accident,” he said, trying to head inside. We asked if the accident happened during the quake.
“Nah, I think it’s been here for a few days. But it’s worth cleaning up, I guess.”
One can only imagine the costs of cleaning up after today’s ground jolts. Residents may be picking up chairs and straightening out pictures for quite a while.
Only time will tell.