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5.9 Quake Hits Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. — A 5.9 earthquake centered in Richmond, Virginia struck at 1:51 p.m. local time. The largest quake previously recorded in Virginia was a 5.9 that hit in 1897.

The earthquake was felt as far south as Chapel Hill, North Carolina, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, CBS News reports. The Pentagon, located in northern Virginia, was evacuated, but later deemed safe for reoccupation.

The University of Virginia’s facilities management department is in the process of assessing all university structures for possible damage, according to a message on the university’s Web site. The university, which is the closest institution to the epicenter of the earthquake, is still operating on a normal schedule.

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is allowing nonresident students, faculty and staff to leave campus early to check on their homes, according to the university’s Web site. Student convocation has been postponed.

According to federal officers, two nuclear reactors were taken offline to the epicenter, CBS News reports. No damaged was reported.

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