The most powerful earthquake to hit the East Coast since 1944 left residents on the West Coast less than impressed over the 5.8 Virginia quake on Tuesday.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) confirmed that the 5.8 earthquake struck central Virginia at 1:51 p.m. on August 23. People from Washington, D.C. to Manhattan, New York felt the effects of the quake’s aftershock.
Office workers throughout NY evacuated buildings, unsure of what caused the structures to shake. The White House, the Capitol, the Pentagon and other federal agencies in and around Washington were also evacuated or partially emptied. The earthquake rocked the east coast just weeks before the 10th anniversary of September 11.
People were relieved to learn it was nothing more than an act of nature, but most have never experienced an earthquake aftershock and were alarmed by the tremors.
"We thought it was a bomb at first because everyone has 9/11 on the brain and that it's so close to September and the 10th anniversary," Cathy McDonald, who works in an IRS office in downtown Washington, told the Associated Press.
Adrian Ollivierre, an accountant whose office is located on the 60th floor, said, "I thought I was having maybe a heart attack, and I saw everybody running. I think what it is, is the paranoia that happens from 9/11, and that's why I'm still out here – because, I'm sorry, I'm not playing with my life," AP reported.
Zach Whittington from Mineral, Virginia, about 5 miles away from the quake’s center, told AP the earthquake “felt like a big giant took it [his house] and shook it like a snow globe.”
He added, “You would have never thought that earthquakes happen out here.”
The 5.8 quake was anything but uncommon for those on the West Coast and residents have taken to Twitter to express their “sympathy.”
@BreakingNews tweeted, “Text ‘Sorry you spilled your chai latte’ to 90999 to donate $1 to the victims of the U.S. East Coast earthquake.”
“Today, the East Coast has officially lost its right to tease Californians who can’t drive in the rain,” @NickSaglimbeni wrote.
@RealGilbert wrote on Twitter, “The East Coast had an Earthquake. Hopefully Sting will do a charity concert.”
“Dear East Coast quake survivors welcome to our world…Love, The West Coast,” @levarburton tweeted.
East Coast users have responded.
@dexhandle tweeted @levarburton, “Dear Lavar, get back to us when a dusting of snow doesn’t cause widespread panic. Love, the East Coast.”
“If the East Coast starts having more earthquakes, it'd only be fairplay that the West Coast starts getting some serious hurricane action,” @bytemonkey wrote.
@Lizzs_Lockeroom tweeted, “Dear West Coast, we aren’t use to earthquakes, so yes it’s major to us. How about we send y’all a blizzard? Love, East Coast.”