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Wed 24 Aug 2011 12:28 PM

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White House evacuated as strong earthquake rattles US east coast

Tremors damage buildings in nation's capital and send scared office workers fleeing into streets

White House evacuated as strong earthquake rattles US east coast
Workers survey damage to a chimney after a 5.8 earthquake whose epicenter was located nearby struck early afternoon August 23, 2011 in the small town of Mineral, Viriginia (Getty Images)
White House evacuated as strong earthquake rattles US east coast
A strong earthquake rattled the US east coast on Tuesday, sending tremors as far as Canada, damaging well-known buildings in the nation's capital and sending scared office workers into the streets (Getty Images)
White House evacuated as strong earthquake rattles US east coast
There were no reports of major damage or serious injuries from the 5.8 magnitude quake, which was centered in Mineral, Virginia, about 90 miles (145 km) southwest of Washington DC (Getty Images)
White House evacuated as strong earthquake rattles US east coast
A statuette at the historic home belonging to Jane and Percy Wootton is shown toppled by the early afternoon 5.8 earthquake whose epicenter was located nearby August 23, 2011 in Cockoo, Virginia (Getty Images)
White House evacuated as strong earthquake rattles US east coast
The Pentagon, White House and US Capitol were evacuated in Washington, and thousands of alarmed workers scurried into the streets up and down the East Coast as the lunchtime quake sent items crashing down from store and office shelves (Getty Images)
White House evacuated as strong earthquake rattles US east coast
An historic home belonging to Jane and Percy Wootton is shown damaged by the early afternoon 5.8 earthquake whose epicenter was located nearby (Getty Images)
White House evacuated as strong earthquake rattles US east coast
(L-R) New York City mMayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during a press conference to address the 5.9-magnitude earthquake New Yorkers felt as Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Bruno, Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott look on, on August 23, 2011 in New York City (Getty Images)
White House evacuated as strong earthquake rattles US east coast
As if a rare strong earthquake were not enough, the East Coast was also on alert for powerful Hurricane Irene which was heading up from the Caribbean and could hit at the weekend (Getty Images)
White House evacuated as strong earthquake rattles US east coast
In New York, the tremors prompted evacuations of courthouses, City Hall and halted work at the World Trade Center construction site (Getty Images)
White House evacuated as strong earthquake rattles US east coast
Control towers at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York City and Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey were also evacuated, and flights were grounded briefly in Washington, Philadelphia and New York (Getty Images)