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Earthquake in Virginia Shakes East Coast

One of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded on the East Coast shook buildings and rattled nerves from South Carolina to New England on Tuesday and forced the evacuations of parts of the Capitol, White House and Pentagon.

In Washington, the National Cathedral said cracks had appeared in the flying buttresses around the apse at one end. "Everyone here is safe," the Cathedral said on its official Twitter feed. "Please pray for the Cathedral as there has been some damage."

Shaking was felt as far south as Charleston, S.C., and as far north and east as Martha's Vineyard, Mass., where Mr. Obama is taking summer vacation and was starting a round of golf when the quake struck at 1:51 p.m. EDT.

The 5.8-magnitude quake shook central Virginia and the East Coast. One of the most powerful earthquakes in Virginia history rippled from its epicenter in Louisa County throughout the eastern United States but injured few people and caused little major structural damage.

The 15-second tremor measured 5.8 on the Richter scale Tuesday at 1:51 p.m., prompting buildings to empty, cellphone service to go silent and two nuclear reactors near the center of the quake to shut down without damage.

The GCP event was set for 6 hours beginning at 1:00, with the main temblor 51 minutes later. This is a relatively short time period compared with our usual quake time (in recent years, we usually look at 24 hours) because there was little damage and few deaths or injuries. The event is chosen mainly because of the location near Washington DC, and because it was felt over such a large area. The result is Chisquare 21932.271 on 21600, for p = 0.055 and Z = 1.594

in Virginia shakes East Coast

It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.

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