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Rayburn Building Washington DC

Here is an eyewitness account of the earthquake in Washington as seen within the Rayburn Building, Washington DC sent to me this morning.   

2011, ten years this year since 9/11.  The year America killed Bin Laden.  It is safe to say that the American people are just waiting for retaliation.  Most people would not be surprised if Washington D.C was the target.  An earthquake lasting 10-30 seconds at the scale of 5.9 to 6.0, does not seem dramatic in comparison to those in Japan for example.  But then Japan is not involved in three wars and does not have her fingers in so many other pies like the USA….

Minutes after the regular lunch period, I had just come back from the Longworth Cafe, as had many others. I had settled back into sorting mail in my office. I am currently working in the Rayburn building.  August is the recess month for Capital Hill.  Congressmen and women are concentrating on their districts. There were two staff members and myself in work that day.

Many of the staff and the  interns had never had training for this sort of natural disaster.  When the building started to sway and doors began to open of their own accord, it was not long before everyone seemed to think should we go under the table, in the door way, or bail out the building altogether.  My office chose the latter. Soon that became the instructed order by Capital Police.  As everyone was looking around in confusion and hurrying down the stairway, many were pointing out the cracking in the walls on the way down.  It is safe to say I was concentrating on putting one foot in front of another and getting out the building, thinking I could gaze at the cracks the next day.  There was damage obvious throughout, especially in The House Financial Service Committee room, the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committee hearing rooms but it seems mostly cracked plaster and flaked paint.

Cracks in plaster : Picture ABC

As police kept pushing the staff further and further away from the building it was clear that the police were thinking on their feet and there was no definitive evacuation place, or protocol.  In 21st Century fashion, the mobile phones came out.  Just like at New Year when so many people are calling at the exact same time, no one could get through, so the rumours started to spread.  Many initially thought it was a bomb instead of an earthquake, which brought upset, and heightened emotions.

Thankfully, no injuries, but the week is not over just yet with Hurricane Irene expected to hit Washington D.C this weekend!

Copyright The Oligarchkings 2011