New York, Washington DC earthquake: airports, flights unaffected

By John Walton, August 24 2011

Following a 5.9 magnitude earthquake centred within 150km of Washington DC in Mineral, Virginia, which was felt as far away as Boston, New York and North Carolina, US airports are reporting no delays or cancellations to flights.

While some flight operations were temporarily suspended, New York's John F Kennedy (JFK), Newark (EWR) and La Guardia (LGA) are all expecting normal service this evening. In Washington DC, both Dulles (IAD) and National (DCA) are running to schedule.

All airports in the region have confirmed no substantial damage. Structures are reinforced more for hurricanes and the occasional tornado, as earthquakes are very infrequent in the region. The depth of the earthquake -- shallow, at around 6km -- likely led to it being felt across a wide area.

Buildings in New York and Washington DC swayed, with the Pentagon and other US government offices evacuated. There has also been minor damage to buildings, including at least one embassy in Washington. 

Reports of landmarks leaning, including the National Cathedral and Washington Monument in DC, are also coming through. 

The United States Geological Service (USGS) has further information on the quake.

John Walton
John Walton

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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