tv CNN Newsroom CNN August 23, 2011 12:00pm-2:00pm PDT
something more than an earthquake? what this? i work in the attic of the capitol, we're at the top of the building where all the press corps is. we immediately tried to get on phones, but our phones were hanging off of the wall. i know my equipment is still hanging off of the shelves. very large piece of radio equipment that i have, the box fell off the shelf which is pretty significant. it might weigh, 10, 15 pounds. it was a very serious situation. we immediately looked at each other and said, we need to get out of here and then we all said, we need to call the newsroom. a little bit of confusion at that moment. everyone left interpretly briskly and orderly. randi, the capitol does have, of course, a significant evacuation system. we have drills regularly. there is a system of speakers throughout the capitol that averts people and tells people the directions whenever they
need folks to leave. i've been in there when planes have entered airspace and they told us to leave the capitol. during this instance, there was no such warning, there was no such direction from capitol police. it happened so quickly that the evacuation orders were given simply by word-of-mouth. by whatever office you were closest to. that was my experience just outside the senate chamber right above it. >> lisa with the latest from the capitol. wolf blitzer standing by for us in washington, d.c. wolf, i'm sure you'll be talking about this in the situation room later today. >> we certainly will. it's an extraordinary and unusual situation. it hasn't just been in washington. it's been in virginia. it's been in maryland. up in new york, north carolina, ohio, michigan. they felt it all over the eastern part of the united states. the epicenter much closer to richmond, virginia.
mineral, virginia. about 87 or so miles outside of washington, d.c. we're following what's going on very closely. i want to bring in trent rawls. he works at the bureau here in washington. you were a block away. that's the train station here in the nation's capitol. what happened? where were you inside, trent? what did you see? >> i was in the food court. as i was ordering my lunch. as i sat down to eat my lunch, i felt a strong shake. so i thought maybe it was the train. then it happened again. it got furious and then maybe seconds after that, the roof started collapsing, towels started falling from the roof and everybody was running for their lives. i had no idea what was going on. i was trying to get out of there and protect myself in a timely fashion. >> the food court was pretty crowded when you were there. >> it was lunchtime, peak hours, extremely crowded. had a lot of elderly folks in
wheelchairs and things of that nature. pretty much everyone was doing the best they can to try to get out there to protect themselves. once again, it was a total shock to me. i thought it was a train until i got the real rough rumble and i started seeing the roof collapse and some parts of the food court and towers flying down. that's when everyone was scattering trying to get to the bottom of the food court to get to the first floor of union station. >> how did the people react there? were they screaming, in shock? i think it was more so like what's going on? i think maybe so they had more, was it a bomb, was it a train? it probably was mixed emotions? me personally, i thought it was some kind of bomb. i never felt nothing like that in washington in regards to a earthquake. it definitely caught me by surprise. when i found out it was an earthquake, i was relieved that it wasn't nothing in regards to some kind of tourist attack, anything like that. >> that was the initial instinct a lot of us had. who knew it could be a terrorist attack or anything else.
at what point did you realize it was an earthquake? >> when i got outside and security was informing everyone, it's okay, it's just an earthquake, just an earthquake. i had a little sigh of relief after that. i was still concerned about the elderlies in the food court. hoping they got out safe and nothing happened to them. >> are you okay? >> i'm fine. just a little shaken up in the beginning. but once again, to know that it was an earthquake opposed to anything dangerous or life-threatening, it's truly a blessing. >> let's hope the aftershocks are not too significant as well. trent ross, thanks very much. we have another eyewitness, reza. you're with the department of education behind us, right? >> that's right. >> tell us what happened. where were you? what floor were you on and ha did you experience? >> i was on the top floor, the 11th floor, and the rumbling started softly. i remember the -- over the next five or ten seconds, it got stronger and stronger. that's when we realized there was something going on. it wasn't just a small episode. so i came out of the conference room that i was in and a light
was falling off the ceiling. but we had an employee standing underneath. >> how did the people react? was there panic or screaming? >> there wasn't any screaming. people were confused and didn't know what was going on living in washington, d.c. we knew it could be a multitude of things. but we do practice for these types of evacuations often. so we did, i think, people did leave the building in an organized fashion. did a good job of responding. >> are you okay? >> i'm fine. >> thank you from. department of education. two eyewitnesses. two stories. there are thousands and thousands of stories in the nation's capitol. a lot of nervous people. everyone is hoping that the aftershocks are not significant but a 5.9 earthquake right here in mid-atlantic section of the united states. nothing to sneeze at at all. back to you guys. >> not at all, wolf blitzer. hello to you. i'm brooke baldwin. if you're just joining us, what a news day. let me set the scene for you. we're watching two very fluid
stories. one wolf is reporting on this earthquake, magnitude 5.9 out of mineral, virginia. that is 80 miles away from washington, d.c. you have been tweeting me. folks are feeling it all the way from north carolina up to the nation's capitol. up to massachusetts even as far in as cleveland, ohio. we'll be checking in with the correspondents as multiple buildings have been evacuated in manhattan and congressional buildings, pentagon. also, we'll talk about nuclear power plants. chad myers is getting some information on the north anna nuclear power plant which is 11 miles from that epicenter in mineral, virginia. they're on backup power and making sure the spent fuel rods stay nice and cool. more on that. also libya, if you've been watching the coverage today, it has been tremendous. major, major history in the making here. as the rebels in the capital city of tripoli, 48 hours after they took green square, today
was the day they breached the gadhafi fortress. the compound. so we will have reporting as our own sara sidner went inside as have the rebels seizing items from their 42-year leader moammar gadhafi. still the question remains, where is he? we're on that. but first, i want to begin with this earthquake. i have on the line me, sergeant david sclosser with the u.s. park police. sergeant, tell me in terms of the beautiful monuments in our nation's capitol, are they all okay? >> caller: we certainly experienced a rather unusual event in d.c. the monuments in the memorial, such as the washington monument, the jefferson memorial are all okay right now. first reports from one of the officers at the washington monument was that some stones may have come loose. we've evacuated all the monument and memorials. d.c. traffic is notoriously bad. but we've instituted an even traffic pattern which heads the
traffic out of town. i'm not sure about the operations of the subway system. what their status is right now. preliminary reports from d.c. is that there may be a couple of minor injuries but nothing substantial. in the downtown area around the monuments and memorials and the white house area, we have absolutely no injuries and we may have some minor structural damage. but doesn't look like substantial. our aviation section, shortly after this event occurred, got airborne and did an aerial survey. they were checking the traffic flow and the bridges and nothing really obvious popped up for those folks. i think we're in pretty good shape downtown. >> what about just a quick check on the tourists. i used to live in washington, i know this time of year is notorious for tourists in and around the national mall. no injuries, no damage? >> right now we have a lot more tourists in town than usual with the opening of the martin luther king memorial. >> right.
>> a lot of folks are disappointed they can't get into the washington monument and lincoln memorial. it's a good time to see the open park lands and enjoy the company of some good people in the district of columbia. so we may have disappointed folks, but it looks like everybody is okay. that's the important thing. >> okay. sergeant david schlosser. thank you very much. let's go now as we continue the coverage. jason carroll is live for me in manhattan. jason, tell me where you are and what this felt like. >> well, brooke, you know this area very well. i'm outside cnn headquarters at columbus square. just to sort of set the scene for you. this is right by central park. already, brooke, we're receiving reports from people all over the city, manhattan, staten island, brooklyn, folks who felt the earthquake. people as far away as pubuffalo saying they felt the tremor.
temporary evacuations at fbi headquarters downtown. at the courthouse downtown, people standing around madison avenue at a certain point. we can give you an update in terms of what's happening at the airports. i know that you had a report out there earlier that there was disruption at jfk and newark. the control towers there temporarily evacuated. we're now told that service has resumed to both of those airports. obviously, this is not something that folks on the east coast are used to. i'm from the west coast. we're used to it out there. we want to bring in one of the people who felt everything that happened. aaron adams. tell me what you felt, what went down when you felt the ground shake. >> yeah. we're hear with our solar team at on the 35th floor. >> that's a hotel. >> that's right. so we could sort of tell that there was a quick jolt and then we could hear the glass creaking and the floor moving. we all looked at each other and coming from san francisco, we
knew that it was an earthquake. but we didn't know how far away it was. >> you immediately knew it was app earthquake. >> yeah. we all looked at each other and knew right away. >> had to be shock there. did you notice any damage there? >> no, no. everyone was well in order. there was no damage. >> obviously something you're a cuss domd to dealing with. i want to bring someone else who i know is not -- kelly wood and her daughter jordan. they're from chicago. obviously, this was a new experience for you. >> we were up at a italian restaurant on the third floor of the building. we felt, my daughter felt vibration on the floor. maybe it's the subway. all of a sudden the wine rack next to us was swaying, as was the wine bucket. pretty dramatically. >> what was going through your head as you're realizing the building is shaking? >> i really didn't know. i agreed with my mom. i thought it was an el train.
>> you thought it was the subway. >> it was dramatic. could this be an earthquake? >> quite an experience for you coming to new york from chicago. >> absoluteliment. >> thank you very much. thank you for hanging out for us. >> brooke, the mayor's office say they have activated the office of emergency management situation room. they have contacted the various city agencies to check in them. train service, we're being told that train service has not been disrupted. there's been no disruption of train service. we're also not hearing any reports about any damage throughout the city. so just giving you an update in terms of what's happening on the ground here from new york city. brooke? >> can you imagine being on subway when this hit. you mentioned the mayor of new york city, mayor michael bloomberg. he will be speaking in about 40 minutes. we will take that live as soon as we see the mayor. quick update. as jason mentioned, some air traffic issues. let me let you know, per the faa, we're learning that all new york, washington and
pennsylvania airports are back to normal. that is according to the faa. one concern is the nuclear plant, about 11 miles from the epicenter of this particular earthquake. the north anna power plant. i have on the line with me, david hee dock, the chief operating officer. you run the north anna power plant and please do tell me, sir, what's going on? >> do we have him? david hcan you hear me? we'll go back to him. here's what i know about this particular power plant as we are efforting david back on the phone. north anna, it's the closest plant, as i mentioned to this epicenter. it's about 11 miles away. both units were tripped as a result of this earthquake just a short time ago. shut down automatically. the plant lost off site power.
all four diesel generators are working. they say this is the lowest of our four emergency cat dpor is. david, i hear we have you on the line, sir. can you hear me? david -- >> this is brooke baldwin at cnn in atlanta. can you hear me in this is brooke at cnn, can you hear me? >> caller: i can barely hear you. >> i'll try to speak up. if you can, just brief me on the situation inside this power plant. i understand the backup generators are on. >> caller: that's correct. the unit shut down as it's supposed to by design. off site power was lost. the four diesel generators are supplying backup, electric power. it's in safe condition as it's designed to be. >> you said there's four diesel
generators supplying this backup plant. how long can they remain on? >> caller: they can supply power indefinitely. we have about 30-day supply of fuel oil on site. the fuel oil is not a problem. we can bring extra fuel oil in. they can run indefinitely. they cannot -- off site power should be restored quickly. we have power back to the switch yard ep station and working to restore it back to the plant. >> as you work to restore power, can you just give me a brief lay of the land at this power plant? is there any visual damage? >> caller: no. there's no apparent damage whatsoever. even though it's a severe seismic event shall the plants are designed for this kind of a seismic event. there's no apparent damage to anything at the plant right now. >> let me back up. explain this to me. if there this is any sort of seismic event, any earth shaking, it automatically
triggers the backup generators. this is per normal, is that correct? >> well, the seismic event directly does not. in this case, when the event occurred, it could knock out the off site power or the power feeding back to the station. once that power goes away, the diesel generators automatically supply the backup power and the unit automatically shuts down. >> i'm glancing down here. i understand that you all have declared an unusual event. which i guess is the phraseology for the lowest of the four emergency categories. can you just define unusual for me? >> caller: it's unusual when you lose off site power like this and two units are tripped with in seismic event. that's a normal precaution. we to that to inform the local and state communities about the event at the plant. make sure they're available should we need any help. >> how many homes do you provide power to there in virginia? sdp >> caller: it's about a quarter
million homes. >> and have they been affected? >> caller: they have not. we have redundant power supplies and other units able to pick up that load. >> okay. chad myers, do you have anything for him? >> we also know that surry down by williamsburg declared an unusual event. that's not unusual, susquehanna, peach bottom, hope creek and salem have also declared unusual events. can you tell us anything about how surry is doing? >> caller: yes. i'm sure the rest of the plants fall in the same category. they detected vibrations at the site. it did not impact any plant equipment. they provide the notification of unusual event to notify the nuclear regulatory commission. no indications of any problems at surry either. >> all right. >> thank you so much for the update there on the north anna nuclear power plant there outside of mineral, virginia, where the epicenter of this
quake stemmed 5.9. >> correct. >> magnitude earthquake. chad myers thank you so much. don't go too far. we'll continue to watch this. also, i'm getting information that the u.s. geological service will hold a conference. we'll take that live. we should be hearing from michael bloomberg at the top of the hour. live as well. maj major news day. a 5.9 magnitude earthquake. people feeling this there north carolina, northward to massachusetts, inland to ohio. also keep in mind, libya. breaking news there happening overseas as rebels breached moammar gadhafi's compound. but where is moammar gadhafi? we are back in a moment. discue development of natural gas, whether it can be done safely and responsibly. at exxonmobil we know the answer is yes. when we design any well, the groundwater's protected by multiple layers of steel and cement. most wells are over a mile and a half deep so there's a tremendous amount of protective rock
we told you we'd be watching for this u.s. geological service event. it's now begun. let's listen to a bit. >> damage to the building, though, it's not such strong shaking that we consider that very likely. see if you have other information. >> sure, yeah. just one of the questions people have been asking is about historical earthquakes along the eastern u.s. a rundown on that. in 1755 there was a magnitude 5.9 earthquake, 1884, new york city experienced a magnitude 5.5. and in 1886, the charleston, south carolina, earthquake was
estimated magnitude 7.3. those are all from before seismic instrumental recording. and then probably the most famous eastern u.s. earthquake is more central u.s. is the new madrid sequence of 1811-1812. the estimate for those magnitudes. there were three big earthquakes and lots of aftershocks. they were estimated 7.2, maybe as high as 7.7. >> what's your name sir? >> my name is ken hudnut. >> do you want to answer a question? >> the only thing that i have that hasn't been discussed so far is people have been asking us about the aftershocks of which there have been none so far posted on the internet. it's not unusual. i mean, it is unusual to have earthquakes of that size with no aftershocks. but it does occur. but i would expect it would be likely that there would be some twos and threes to come in the
future. >> could it be because that area is not prone to earthquakes perhaps like we would see in california or it has nothing to do with it? >> we don't know of any correlation. >> as we've been listening, some of the questions peppered at the officials, they know a thing or two about that in california. they've been asked really when was the last time the east coast saw an earthquake of this magnitude. they were throwing things back to the 18th, 17th century. i was talking with chad myers. he says it's been a number of years since the east coast has seen something of this magnitude. we'll talk more about that momentarily. i want to go straight to the epicenter of this quake. if you noknonova va -- amanda, me, since you are where this happened not too long ago, what did it feel like, how long did it last there? >> caller: well it happened not that long agoment time is flying
by in louisa county. we're under an emergency alert. it really felt, the building started to shake. all the employees, under their normal day, just went outside and the ground continued to rumble for probably five or ten seconds. >> i don't know where you are in the county. tell me if you know of any reports of damage to any buildings, structurally and also injuries. >> we currently -- i'm in the town of louisa, which is about 10, 15 miles outside of the town of mineral in louisa county. and we have received numerous calls for structural damage and some structural collapse for residential structures. our emergency responders are out investigating and looking to confirm that. >> so they are out -- for give me. in terms of injuries, no serious injuries reported.
i imagine thus far, no news maybe is good news in your case. >> no. we've received some calls for some minor injuries. but no serious injuries and none related to any structural damages. >> okay. what about aftershocks, amanda? have you experienced any of those? >> we've had a number of them. we just as i was on hold with you, we experienced a another small aftershock. >> how many? give me a number. >> goodness. five. there's a number. >> what's the -- i've been toulousea. i lived for a while in charlottesville, virginia. i know it's a small town. i imagine people are talking about this, calling in to 911, reporting what they've seen injurywise. what's the mood there? frightened? >> there's a lot of energy. people are out in the community. one thing about being a small rural community that we are, we've got volunteers out in
every neighborhood that are trained and work with our fire and rescue and partner with our career fire and rescue personnel and our sheriff's department. so they are out in the community in droves just helping each other and responding to this emergency. >> amanda, thank you for calling in. of course, you know our number. if anything changes on your end, please pick up the phone and call cnn. you can send an i-report as well. let's go to d.c. certainly a city that felt a lot of this. i have adam gluk on the line. adam, where were you when this thing hit? >> caller: i was actually in my office sitting at my desk wait fog ar a 2:00 meeting to start. all of a sudden the desk and the floor started shaking and pictures rattling. it wasn't quite right. >> let's be more specific. i don't know where your office and desk are. are you in the district of
columbia, union station, where are you? >> we're at the corner of sixth and pennsylvania. for folks familiar d.c., it's in between the capitol and the white house, closer to the capitol. >> how long did it last? >> probably about half a minute. maybe 45 second at the most. it started as other folks said, pretty slowly. felt like the ground was shaking or rattling. i didn't know what it was. but it picked up and bit end of it, people were definitely aware of what was going on. >> adam, what happened when you see your papers and your desk shaking? did everyone leave the building? was it evacuated? >> a lot of folks in this area did evacuate their buildings. we're across from the federal trade commission in one of the smithsonian museums. those folks evacuated and there was a lot of traffic and emergency vehicles on pennsylvania avenue in the surrounding areas. one of the women i work with who spent a lot of time in california laughed at people who said we were getting worked up
over an earthquake. >> it's been years. >> final question. aftershocks, have you felt any? >> nothing. >> all right, adam gluck. thank you very much. back to work for you. thank you, sir, for calling in. glad you're okay. of course, we'll stay all over this story. reports of this earthquake really up and the down the east coast. we'll continue to talk to people on the phone, get new pictures coming out. the breaking news out of libya. back in two minutes. . in here, inventory can be taught to learn. ♪ machines have a voice. ♪ medical history follows you. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities... committed to delivering the most advanced mobile broadband experience to help move business... forward. ♪ [ cat meows ] ♪ [ acoustic guitar: pop ] [ woman ]elp move business... ♪ i just want to be okay ks ] ♪ be okay, be okay ♪ i just want to be okay today
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all right. welcome back here. breaking news as we are following the aftermath, it hasn't been too terribly long since the quake hit. the eastern seaboard of the united states. 5.9 in magnitude. people feeling it all the way up and down. north and south. take a look at this. a couple of images we're getting
in to cnn. this is from northern illinois university. you can see the crazy activity here on this graphic. that is when the earthquake hit. keep in mind, the epicenter, mineral, virginia, about 80 miles from washington, d.c. you can see the precise moment this recorded that quake hitting. another image i have for you, you know we've been covering this story out of manhattan. it was the district attorney, cyrus vance much he's supposed to be giving a news conference essentially on the fate of former imf chief dominique strauss-kahn. he had been facing charges related to an alleged sexual assault. here they are, members of the press, they're in there room. >> good afternoon everybody. >> i says hello. let's listen. >> a limited number of questions. standard has protected -- >> oh, my gosh. >> i've been through earthquakes
in seattle. >> so as you see members of the press, other people in there getting up out of their seats, getting out of there. i feel like i heard someone, maybe that was mr. vance saying i've been in seattle, been through earthquakes before. some people have not. the cameras captured the precise moment when the quake hit in manhattan. final image before i get to my guest here. final image we have this chandelier, i believe it is, here we go. shaking quite a bit here. this is from an i-reporter. this is new york state. you and i are seeing this for the first time together. so just a little bit of shaking glenn ricks. bringing you in from georgia tech. civil and environmental engineering. an earthquake engineer. welcome to cnn. >> thank you. pleased to be here. 5.9 magnitude earthquake. i was listen to the geological
survey a moment ago. >> earthquakes are more common in the western united states, particularly in california and in the view of many people, that's the only place where earthquakes do occur in the united states. but in fact, there are earthquakes in the eastern united states as well. but they're just much less frequent and they can be quite powerful. but typically they're not. so 5.9 is pretty big for the eastern united states. >> explain this to me. because the moment it happened, we're all on twitter and getting tweets from georgia. georgia. south carolina, north carolina, washington, d.c. all the way up through manhattan to martha's vineyard, ohio, west virginia. people all over felt this thing. why is that? it's because it's one single plate. >> the earth's crust west of the rockies is different than the earth's crust east of the rockies. earthquakes in the eastern united states propagate over a much larger distance and can be felt over a much larger area than the same size earthquake would be in the western united
states. it's not unusual that we're feeling this earthquake over such a large part of the united states. >> also curious, the aftershocks. i talked to someone in walk ton d.c., no they didn't feel them. talked to someone where the epicenter was. gosh, she's felt five. how does that happen? >> earthquakes are an almost inevitable part of any larger earthquake. just because it takes a while for the earth's crust to sort of come back into an equilibrium after an earthquake. the aftershocks are smaller than the earthquake. this is a 5.9. it was not that large. the aftershocks, rather, will be even smaller. and maybe below the threshold where people at a far distance can feel them. >> could be over? >> they'll continue for many hours, days and possibly even weeks. >> really? >> again, they'll be much smaller and people may not feel them. >> what do you tell people who are perhaps bracing in louisa county, virginia and the area,
fearful of maybe some of the aftershocks? what advice do you give people in the case of an earthquake? we don't know how this goes? >> right, exactly. the best thing is to just make sure that bookcases and other loose objects are secured. that's probably the biggest threat is that bookcases falling over and things like that. that's probably the best advice i would give someone. make sure that nothing in your home can fall on youment. >> okay o. glenn ricks, from georgia tech, thank you very very much. >> my pleasure. thank you. quickly here, let me remind you one other piece of this story. we've been following, i've talked to the head of dominion power who runs this north anna power plant. they are on the backup generators. there are four of them. they power hundreds of thousands of homes in and around the virginia area. he told me power is fine for those folks. obviously the big concern is keeping those spent fuel rods cool. this is classified according to
this power company as an unusual event. but it's the lowest of their four emergency categories. we are going to follow this one. we're also following what's happening in libya. if you've been watching cnn, which i'm sure you have through the day, we have been covering what's happening, including sara sidner walking in with these rebels, walking inside as they have reached a symbolic victory for these rebels inside of the gadhafi compound. let's listen to this as we go to break. i'll talk to fareed zakaria. what does this mean? where is moammar gadhafi? >> the main gate. now that's all the way into the compound. you see people -- [ gunfire ] >> the gates of the compound. a lot of smoke coming -- [ gunfire ] >> it gives you the sense of the power of the regime of moammar gadhafi. ♪
check the clock. it's after 9:30 at night in tripoli president over the past couple of hours, fighting has been ferocious in and around this compound believed to be home to moammar gadhafi. all signs indicate gadhafi is doing precisely what he said he would. he is fighting to the death. or at least he's attempting to flee. thus far it's very clear, he is not giving up. now, rebels entered this compound sometime late this morning. let's listen to this together. >>. [ gunfire ] >> as we said, ferocious fighting. so the rebels knocked down parts of this compound wall.
they came in from the north side, meaning resistance deeper in they wentment keep in mind, this is a massive, massive installation. a city really within a city. look at this. there are all kinds of places to hide. places to stage a final stand. a last-ditch effort. a maze of tunnels underground tunnels leading out from this compound in all different directions. i want to bring in fareed zakaria. fareed, let's look at something together here. because this is crucial to understand. what's been happening in tripoli the last couple of hours, also crucial to understand what's happening next. we look at the map of libya. i know you know this well. but the cities here, you see all the different cities east of tripoli. those are the battle zones. we have been talking about them here on cnn for months and months. that's where a lot of the major fighting happened. we're looking at tripoli east. west of tripoli. you see these different areas.
they came from the west. the tribal forces fought up through the mountains, blew through zawiya. entered tripoli from the west. given that lay of the land, these rebels from the west, fareed, who are they sm. >> well, it's a very important point, brooke. because it highlights the reality. this is not a civil war. this was a national uprising against gadhafi. some of the tribes that joined in were from the east and some were from the west. gadhafi was isolated with a small number of supporters. any regime like this will always have supporters because they have enormous pat ronnage and enormous amount of money. basically what you're seeing is a uniting of opposition groups, tribes against gadhafi. that's why. mo matter how long this lasts, the result is predetermined. gadhafi's regime will fall. >> what we've seen the ntc and
benghazi, they're essentially government in waiting. should we, fareed, should we expect that these fighters who swarmed into tripoli from the west pre come natalie, let the ntc waltz in and take the shots. how will that work? >> reporter: that's a crucial question. we don't know because this is a loosely coordinated effort. clearly, the ntc is now trying to establish some rufls the road. they're not trying to sweep in and say we're the new government. what they're trying to do is establish some rules, such as very -- no reprisals, no revenge, minimizing the looting. this is all very, very important. the ntc seems to have looked at iraq and is trying to do exactly the opposite of what happened in iraq. they're trying to make clear that the old regime and elements of the old regime will not be discriminated immediately. they will not be reprisal
killings. they're trying to say order is more important than anything else. we will retain the police and the civil service. we'll retain all madison county wo -- all healthcare workers. one hopes these fighters would agree with it. transitional council is not saying, recognize us as the president, vice president and prime minister. they're saying, let's try to make sure this place doesn't come unglued. >> here's potentially one concern. the question that everyone is asking. i think, fareed, you're the best person to answer it. what about this -- what about muslim fundamentalists, might they be a worry here? >> i think we have worried too much about islamic jihadists in tunisia, in egypt, bahrain, syria and libya. look, gadhafi was a very, very tough opponent of al qaeda. he slaughtered thousands and thousands of militant islamists. so i doubt very much that there
is a great surge of islamic fundamentalism that will battle these new forces. in every muslim society, there's going to be some of it, it's something you have to deal with. i don't see anything in the libyan says that suggests that we should worry there's going to be some kind of takeover by al qaeda. they seem very few, very far between. we haven't heard much from them. and i think it says more about the kind of demons we worry about than anything. listen to the reporters on the ground. cnn has such good ones. none of them are detecting any great al qaeda presence there. >> you're right. we've had people in with the rebels. >> it's the people in washington who talk about it, not the people in libya. >> okay. that will quell some concerns for now, i suppose. what about moammar gadhafi, gosh, i read the transcript of your interview. you had said that interviewing him was kind of like interviewing yoda. gadhafi, this man who has manipulated his people for 42
years, held his people back for suspended animation. going forward, fareed, assuming things go well, what with about potential? what is libya's potential? >> libya's potential is huge. it has really been ruled by a mad man. it is important to step back and say that this is an extraordinary event. the libyan people have been able no overturn a 42-year-old tyranny, one of the worst in the world. one of the maddest regimes. the whims of this guy became law. his sons were given the country to plunder. once you get rid of that, yes, there's a certain degree of chaos and instability because he never built any institutions. he didn't allow for civil society. but if you step back and say to yourself, what is the potential? libya is the largest country in africa, physically. it has a small population. seven million people. it has the most extraordinary petroleum reserves. it should be the richest country
in africa. it should be one. richest countries in the world. it is only because gadhafi so mismanaged the place, used so much money for his personal pleasures and mad adventures like invasions of other countries and terrorism that it didn't happen. i think one can be cautiously optimistic that if there is some decent management given the small population, given the extraordinary resources, this could turn out pretty well. >> final question, fareed. i don't know if you're like me. i was just compelled to watch our coverage all day long here of this, the rebels and the breaching into the walls and into this compound. still no moammar gadhafi. you've talked to the man, he's a fighter. not the son of a did he say pit. 42 years in the reigns. what do you make of this now? do you think he will just fight and be recalcitrant to the bitter end? >> the kind of regime gadhafi created which was a highly personalized dictatorship in which it was more a court than a government, you though that
there are lots of survival strategies. you know that that compound you described it very well, is riddled with escape tunnels and mazes. he's had these thoughts. he's made plans. so i think that his -- in his gut, he's not going to give up. he's going to fight to the end. but i think he will have many, many escape routes. libya is a very large country. there are people who are loyal to him. he has vast amounts of money despite all the freezing of all these assets. libya was churning out billions of oils of revenues, all of which basically went to him. that's my guess, one of the reasons why some of these people, the sons have escaped here and there. perhaps there was an ability to bribe some of the guards. i think it's quite possible he'll disappear into the night. but i don't think he will be able to re-establish any kind of control or power because he doesn't have legitimacy. people in libya are tired of him. that's what i mean. everybody in libya is tired of him. from the west, the south, the east and as a result, at the end
of the day, it's over for moammar gadhafi. >> he's done. i would like to know where the labyrinth of tunnels leads, though. fareed zakaria, always a pleasure. thank you so, so much. >> pleasure, brooke. just in here, switching gears, talking about the aftermath -- aftermath of this earthquake. new video of president obama. you know, he's on vacation. he was talking on the phone. martha's vineyard just after the earthquake rocked up and down the east coast. i'm being told we will be hearing from the president soon. so as many are still bracing for aftershocks, we're back. breaking news on cnn in two minutes. one day on the red hills of georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. i have a dream today! [ male announcer ] chevrolet is honored to celebrate the unveiling of the washington, d.c.,
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he is always right there, gets that information so we're going to hear from the president momentarily, we'll take that live on cnn, a quick reminder people up and down the earth coast earthquake over virginia, 5.9, we'll hear from new york mayor michael bloomberg in ten minutes in terms of new york reaction, et cetera. he'll take the mayor in ten minutes, i want to take you to our nation's capital. a lot of you felt it, you're still tweeting me about that. i understand members of congress feeling this thing. i thought they were on vacation. >> reporter: many of them are, brooke, they hold these things hold pro forma sessions often. it's often kind of a result of
the dispute between the majority and minority and they are on a recess and they come every few days for a pro forma session and my colleagues as the earthquake fos happening, funny they say that, my colleagues in the capitol walked outside, everyone was scared and evacuating and ted baird and mike ollors tame across senator chris coons, came off a train from delaware to preside over the pro forma session that clearly couldn't happen and what happened possibly in the last few minutes is that the senate had to work quickly to figure out what to do to actually hold this pro forma session in order to even actually accomplish their constitutional requirement of holding the pro forma sessions held it up the street from here next to cnn's building in the basement of the postal square
building here in d.c. for some 22 seconds, if you will, held the pro form a session and ther was a camera inside, very unusual. i don't know if that's ever happened before but they all had to evacuate the building and chris coons said it was unsettling, scary and he was outside and felt the ground move very far in either direction, and he said although, i will tell you, living in washington, d.c., and many of our friends in new york will feel the same way, when he found out it was an earthquake he was actually relieved and my colleagues asked him why, and he said "we are approaching the anniversary of 9/11, we do live in washington, d.c., and i do work in the u.s. capitol," so all things considered he said he was okay. so he was ready to get back to work. i can assure you that. >> i understand, you take everything very, very, very seriously these days especially in our nation's capital. kate baldwin, the pentagon,
congressional buildings evacuated. is it clear everyone is back at work? >> reporter: it seems it's happening building by building. traffic seems to be snarled here in the capital but the sense is i've been out here since it happened, i ran the stairs downstairs eight flights of stairs. people seem to be settling down and assessing the situation but about many of these historic buildings especially the capitol they'll bes resent to let people back into the building. we know many museums are not opening today, closed down and not opening back up but it seems at the moment it's going on a building by building basis and everyone is still trying to get a count of where things stand and account where everyone is before they make the decision. >> kate thank you very much. traffic never fun and in washington snarled and people getting out of work and on the beltway this afternoon will not be too thrilling.
we're waiting to hear from the president, he is on vacation, took a quick phone call, not briefed on the situation with regard to the 5.9 earthquake. we will be hearing from the president momentarily. also in five minutes hearing from the mayor of new york, michael bloomberg in terms of new york's response, imagine being way up high in a skyscraper feeling this or on a train underground. we will be right back. hey ! chocolate, vanilla or strawberry ? chocolate ! chocolate it is ! yeah, but i'm new, too. umm... he's new... er... than you. even kids know it's wrong to treat new friends better than old friends. at ally bank, we treat all our customers fairly, with no teaser rates and no minimum deposit to open. it's just the right thing to do.
also today, a tremendous moment in history in terms of libya and what we've been watching there for months and months, we've now seen these rebels today breaching the moammar gadhafi compound. the compound of course surrounded by this wall all the way around, the rebels breached it from the north side, the
compound has its own system of roads, multiple soccer stadiums, large. sara sidner was there moving in with the rebels. she walked into the compound, a tremendous day for these rebels. watch this. >> reporter: we are walking into gadhafi's compound. the rebels have taken the compound. we're going in to see what we can see. we can see some the blasts. all of these men armed to the teeth. they're yelling "god is great." this is baba al jazia. they now have people standing at security. okay, they're telling us okay, okay. we can go inside. to the compound.
[ horns honking [ [ speaking in foreign language ] [ gunfire ] >> reporter: celebratory gunfire going off. you can tell they feel very, very excited, very excited. we're going to go now a little bit further. if you look over here to the right, you are seeing the fire inside gadhafi's compound. >> allah akbah. >> reporter: we are told the whole place has been secured by rebels and there are cars driving in, not easily but there is still quite a bit of gunfire, that gunfire sell bratory gunfire. we see another fire inside of the compound but this is, this
is a historic day. psychologically speaking, this is an important day, especially for the rebels who gadhafi said would never be able to break his spirit, would never be able to take the city that they have taken, babel al jaziyah, gadhafi's compound, and you can see now some of the press coming out, so clearly they have it, clearly they have taken this over and clearly there is extreme excitement here in tripoli. hi, how are you. your face looks familiar. >> how are you? >> reporter: i'm fine. >> how are you? >> reporter: walking into the compound. i can hear you.
i can hear you. i am in the compound. i am inside of the compound. i'm going to get back near the wall. any pictures you want to take, feel free to take any pictures you want. i can hold that camera now if you want me to. you can use these pictures, you can have them there as well. they have not found anybody, any of the gadhafi family members in this compound. they have knocked down buildings. they have set buildings on fire. there have been loud blasts, booms, lots of celebratory gunfire. people just very, very excited about today. this has been an important day, not only important because this represents the gadhafi regime
more than anything. it represents the gadhafi regime in the sense that this is where people believe that he was hold up. >> allah akbar. >> reporter: i'm inside walking around the compound and we're walking through the area. i'm looking at what appears to be damage right now inside of the compound. i see a lot of spoke coming from one of the buildings. i see people running out of the building with lots of ammunition. i see tanks. i see people at grabbing at vehicles. they have massive guns on those vehicles. people are extremely excited. it looks like they are taking out whatever weapons and ammunition that were inside that they were able to secure. >> allahu akbar.
>> reporter: it is safe to say they are no longer fighting. we can see from our vantage point, we do know people have been injured. [ siren ] you are hearing an ambulance rushing out of the compound. you are hearing celebratory gunfire close to us but we are not hearing the huge blasts and booms. there is fire not only in one portion of the compound but fire in other parts of the compound. we have not seen that yet but we are still holding back a little bit as we walked around and not to go too far in because it's a dangerous situation still.
i'm going to stay with you. sorry, i just needed to go. >> i was watching. >> reporter: so as everybody runs into this compound you're seeing people go in and take out weapons. look just over there behind you, it's a huge box. this box, can i look? some of the weapons inside of the gadhafi compound, a handgun and a rifle. >> allahu akbar. >> reporter: more guns these guys have fun. and so they've been taking some of these things out. we are seeing regular people, look to your right. we have seen already some looting going on inside of those buildings. we've seen that happen already, people very happy that this has gone on. and also the weapons that are coming out of this compound are just massive. there are so many of them, boxes of them, just people carrying
them, carrying them out. they're even taking some of the trucks that belong to gadhafi forces. if anything, this is definitely a psychological win of course we still don't know at this point where moammar gadhafi and his family, where they are. we have seen his son fight in the past 24 hours at the hotel but we have not seen moammar gadhafi or any sign of him at this point. i just want to get you beyond this wall here. seeing ammunition coming through. this part of the compound, we are inside. you see what looks like anunfun i finished building that's been hit pretty hard in this conflict. you see a police car. >> our intrepid international correspondent sara sidner and our crew. those are the first images we
got as she was speaking, and seeing what the rebels were bringing out of moammar gadhafi's massive compound, a tremendous, as she mentioned, victory both literal and psychological, for those rebels. this has been many, many months in the making there in tripoli. she also mentioned today that the tea was still on the fire, perhaps, according to the rebels a belief that some of these gadhafi forces had to leave quickly. there is a labyrinth tunnel system underneath that compound so it's really anyone's guess where moammar gadhafi is. we have much more coverage on the breaking story out of libya. also here top of the hour this earthquake. it has now been downgraded a smidge, now officially a 5.8 earthquake according to the usgs. new york, pennsylvania, washington, d.c., that is all clear. air traffic controllers were evacuated out of the towers, they're back, up and running as well. the north anna power plant ten
miles down the road from the epicenter of the quake in virginia, they're up on backup power, four generators trying to keep the spent fuel rods cool. they're watching that closely and video from washington, d.c., we have a bureau there, correspondents and producers. i want to show you the video. this is actually from our cnn center, outside about to do an interview within the cnn studios when the earthquake struck. take a look here as the camera just so happened to be rolling. >> what? >> juan carlos lopez there. we'll play it again. standing there. you hear the shaking and a number of you i know are still
feeling aftershocks. we bring in chad nirz, quick reminder we're waiting for the president to speaks and mayor michael bloomberg. chad, what do you make of that video there you see the shaking some 80 miles from the epicenter. >> there may be some loose things outside of the cathedrals and some of the monuments you may not want to be right next to those things, next to those buildings, if you are standing outside. who knows what could fall off of the top if somebody set their lunch on the window sill, may be coming down if you get another shake. whatted today a large piece of the trust shook because we don't have a lot of cracks in the crust on the east coast so you get a very large piece of the east coast all the way from new york city down to atlanta, georgia, felt it because it's literally almost one big piece. doesn't have a bunch of cracks in it like california. if california shakes only that little bit shakes and the rest
stays in the same place. the entire east coast shook because it is literally one big piece and here's what it looked like on the size mo seizsmogram virginia. they felt two separate shakes like if you run into the back of the train and the back box car gets shoved forward, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom and all of the sudden that's the first shake you feel as the box car from behind you hitting you from behind, and then the rest or the way, that's the p and then the s and the s looks like an s and that's the shake or the wave that can really tear things apart. you put a building right there in the wave and all of the sudden it's doing this and this and this and that's where you start to break things apart. that might be the two shakes people might feel, not one aftershock after the first quake. it was the p wave and the secondary wave. >> chad let me jump in and ask
you. people are wondering historically speaking and those of you on the west coast are saying this is nothing. it is a little something for us out east >> because our houses and buildings are not built to your standards in california. you can't build a house on a foundation with concrete against a bunch of cinder blocks and hope that will stand up there in california. you have to have some type of insulation from the ground and so our building codes don't tell you to withstand a.0 or 6.0. the biggest quake out of charleston in the mid 7.0s a long, long time ago. the biggest one in virginia was a 5.8 and this ties it but that was 100 years ago. >> chad, thank you so much. we've been talking a lot about the epicenter of this quake, that is mineral, virginia, and we know, i was talking to someone from in and around that area, they said they had felt multiple aftershocks thus far, that could continue for days, possibly weeks according to civil and environmental engineers moments ago. we're learning a woman from
mineral just called in, we'll talk with her next. plus take a look here at the big board, take a look at those gains today, the dow up 322 points. we haven't seen gains like that in at least a couple of days, the third biggest gain of the year. find out why, next. ♪ [ mrs. davis ] i want to find a way to break through. to make science as exciting as a video game. i need to reach peter, who's falling behind. and push janet who's 6 chapters ahead.
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all right, welcome back. what a day here. i'm checking my e-mail from one of my white house correspondents, traveling with the president on martha's vineyard. we won't hear from the president, we've now heard. they'll release a statement from the white house. the president felt it, people felt it all the way up and down the east coast. we'll pass that along to you. also in new york we are still waiting to hear, you can see the live signal there as we're waiting to hear from the mayor of new york city, michael bloomberg. we should be hearing from him any minute now with regard to how the city coped, handled, moving forward. we'll get it all for you live. meantime, we mentioned the epicenter of this earthquake,
it's this town called mineral, virginia, on the line i have desi fleming, who lives, works in mineral, and desi, thank you for calling in. tell me where you were when this quake hit and what it felt like. >> we were in our business at the time, helping a customer when it took place, just felt like a train was coming to a stop on the tracks is the way it kind of started and after that, just everything started falling off the walls and the building just started pretty much swaying back and forth. >> the building itself was swaying? it was that strong? >> it was a pretty strong -- >> what kin of damage, cracks in walls? >> the building was built in 1900 so all the walls are plaster, every wall is cracked or pretty down to the lace. we've lost both chimneys off the building. >> what were the chimneys made of, brick? >> brick and mortar. >> so the chimneys are down,
this is an old, old house. there are cracks in the walls. what was everyone's response there in this building? >> we -- none of us had any idea what was going on. we thought it was a train track because we're right across from the train tracks, but as it kept moving along and things were falling and breaking, we kind of just realized what it was. >> and i understand that the post office in town is shut down. how is the town in mineral responding to this? >> so far, it looks like everybody's shut down. the post office from what i've been told is pretty much shut down indefinitely. the building's not safe enough to send anybody in. >> hmm. >> so right now i haven't heard from anybody from the town. we're all just kind of taking care of our own, you know, figuring out what we need to do. >> of course. i was talking to someone on tv from not too far away from you from louisa, virginia, she told me they felt some five aftershocks. have you felt some aftershocks? >> there was one larger one, all
of the rest have been pretty minor. >> how big is mineral, virginia? >> one traffic light, i think we have 400 residents. >> okay. desi fleming, thank you so much. i'm sure it's the talk of the town there. hopefully everyone is a-okay. thank you. as promised here we go, mayor michael bloomberg in new york city. >> well, good afternoon. joining me today are nypd commissioner ray kelly, fdny sal cano, robert lamandr, and chancellor of the department of education, dennis wolcott. as i think by now everybody knows, about two hours ago, like people up and down the coast, new yorkers across the five burrougns felt the effect of this afternoon's earthquake which we're told was centered in virginia just outside richmond. the u.s. geological survey reports that there was a smaller aftershock in the virginia area that was not felt here and we're
staying in touch with the usgs for further updates. thankfully there have been reported no major damage or injuries or transportation or utility service disruptions in our city as a result. as of now we have investigated two reports of possible minor damage. in all cases we are not evacuating buildings. at the red hook west housing development in brooklyn there was a partial chimney collapse, bricks fell from the chimney to the roof, on top of a water tower, no one was injured. the fdny spooneded and said the building is safe for re-entry. engineers are assessing the next steps that may need to be taken. another incident on fourth avenue and brooklyn was investigated and engineers said no injuries occurred as a result
of the quake. property owners should visually inspect buildings for cracks and contact building management in the city if they feel the situation warrants it. turning to transportation, flights in and out of kent di, laguardia and newark airports resumed, amtrak service in and out of penn station was also suspended for about half an hour before resuming. as a precaution transportation department bridge inspectors are visually inspecting the major river crossings but there is no indication of any damage. the department of environmental protection reports no damage to the water infrastructure in or outside the city, as a precaution we are continuing to inspect dams and other significant infrastructure. calls to 911 and 311 naturally spiked but have returned to normal levels for this time of day and year. let me remind new yorkers to only use 911 for genuine emergencies. we have activated the office of emergency management's situation
room. we also evacuated city hall briefly just before 2:00 p.m. but quickly returned to work, and now i do understand for many people this was a stressful afternoon, but so far we've been lucky to avoid any major harm. our thoughts are clearly with the people of virginia and other areas more directly affected by the earthquake. let me, before we take questions, sum rides todmarize announcement for today. [ speaking in spanish ] >> so he's saying airports back to normal, amtrak back to normal, bridge inspectors back to normal. thus far no visual damage so far. lucky to avoid any major harm in the burroughs in new york. as we go to break a little bit more information from the folks at the white house with regard to the earthquake. we'll check in right after this.
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we are now getting some reaction with regard to this 5.8 earthquake from the white house. let's go to my colleague, dan lothian, traveling along with the president who is on vacation there in martha's vineyard. mia culpa i am not with the president on the golf course, i do not know if he felt the earthquake but i can say you felt the earthquake. >> reporter: i did feel it i was on the ground floor of the hotel we're using as a work area and i felt the ground start to sway, being that i have spent quite a bit of time out in los angeles i was quite aware that we were
dealing with an earthquake and looked up and some of the light fixtures were moving around so we knew we were in the midst of the earthquake. the president we don't know if he felt it on the golf course but we are getting information from the white house, deputy spokesman josh ernest saying at 2:50 the president led a conference call with janet napolitano and a whole host of top level advisers, they discussed the earthquake and the status of critical infrastructure. the president was told there are no major infrastructure damage at airports and nuclear facilities and currently no requests for assistance. the president asked for regular updates on the situation. the president also was provided an update on hurricane irene by secretary napolitano and administrator fugate.
the president also dealing with the situation in libya where i'm told by a white house official the national security team has been closely watching all the developments as we have on television. >> i am sure they have, certainly not a dull vacation for the president there in martha's vineyard. >> that's right. >> dan lothian i'll let you go. i'm glad you and the crew are okay. let's look at the stock market because it's been a great day on wall street. alison kosik, this is the third best gain we've seen all year. >> it is. we had a great day today. you know what i think you're seeing happen is investors really looking for those cheap stocks. these stocks have really been beaten down. this is what they call an oversold market so this is a really good part of why you're seeing the gains this strong. what set things off was a better than expected manufacturing report out of china, and also believe it or not a downbeat housing report. we found out new home sales fell in july.
you'd think that would hurt the market but this is a backwards way wall street looks at things. it knows there's this big conference of central bankers happening on friday and fed chairman ben bernanke will be giving this big speech so the expectation is that perhaps bernanke may hint at some sort of stimulus coming our way and that is what wall street is really looking for at this point, because what it would wind up doing is giving a boost to the market, kind of create this wealth effect in people's 401(k)s, so that's also why you're seeing the market rally today. brooke? >> what a day. alison kosik there thank you very much there at the new york stock exchange, and as we go to break i want to leave you with video. sara sidner reporting in and around the gadhafi compound, major news story developing there, history unfolding in the capital city of tripoli, rebel forces infill trading, breaching moammar gadhafi's compound, really the symbol of the gadhafi regime. i'm going to talk to a spokesperson with the state department and get their assessment as they've been
watching what's happening on the streets there. tripoli may be breached but is tripoli captured? what's their assessment? gunfire and it's becoming completely out of control with the gunfire, because people are just, they've got so much ammunition they've taken from the gadhafi regime they feel they can waste it now, feel like he is completely -- [ gunfire ] it's been a good year for chevy. and not because silverado's
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while these rebels in libya may be ringing out their victory gunshots through the day and the evening hours now still the question remains where is moammar gadhafi? let's get reaction from the state department. i want to go to mark toner, state department spokesman. we've been watching amazing events playing out minute by minute in the capital city of tripoli. give me quickly your take off the top as far as what we've been witnessing today. >> sure, well it's obviously a very fluid situation. certainly we're seeing again you mentioned the dramatic footage from gadhafi's compound and as i
said, you know events are unfolding very quickly. one thing that is clear the tide has turned. the gadhafi regime if not completely collapsed is in the process of collapsing and really the best thing can he do, although his location remains unclear is to relinquish power and step aside so a real democratic transition can take place. >> from a state department perspective, define victory in libya for me. >> well i think victory is an end to the violence, again, which would be a clear signal if gadhafi stepped down and then a democratic transition, the transitional national council, who we recognize is legitimate government, interim government for libya, has already put forth a plan to lead that democratic
transition, and lead toward a democratic change that's in the best interests of the libyan people. that's really going to be success here. >> i know secretary clinton has spoke with u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon. they've been saying as you mentioned this is libya's to lead but what can be done with regard to the united states, to assist in this transition? >> sure. well, it's worth taking a small step back and looking at where we've come in the last 200 days. it was february 16th when the protests began in libya. gadhafi immediately carried out violence against the people. the u.s. led within the u.n. to build this coalition. we had two u.n. security council resolutions, a nato mandate and operation that allowed, that saved countless lives around benghazi and elsewhere. at this point we're looking for other ways we can assist the transitional national council in its attempts to bring security and lead this democratic transition. one of the ways we're going to
do that is work within the u.n. to free up some of this frozen money about $1 billion give or take to transition this to the national council. >> when will that money be freed up, mark, and then who, who decides how it gets disbursed? >> well, we don't want to get out ahead of ourselves. we are working, as i said, within the u.n. looking at ways we can get that money to them in the coming days, i would be hopeful for that, because clearly there's a desperate need for it. but also, you know, going forward, the transitional national council, we have been been in very close contact with them. we have a mission in benghazi and representative there, chris stevens who works closely with the tnc as we call them and you know, there is a procedure in place, a process in place to ensure these funds would be used in a transparent and accountable way. >> okay, mark toner, state department, mark, i appreciate it very much, thank you. >> sure thing. still to come we'll talk to our cia covert ops guy, former
cia covert ops guy mike baker, get his opinion on what's happening with the fluid situation in tripoli. i have a feeling he's going to say no one really knows what will happen next and chris perry, former british commander. be right back. it's not just good for business -- it's good for the entire community. at bank of america, we know the impact that local businesses have on communities, so we're helping them with advice from local business experts and extending $18 billion in credit last year. that's how we're helping set opportunity in motion. when i got my medicare card, i realized i needed an aarp... medicare supplement insurance card, too. medicare is one of the great things about turning 65, but it doesn't cover everything.
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gadhafi finish, gadhafi finish. now libya freedom. >> we'll take you back to the situation in libya, just after 10:30 at night in libya, the skies are dark, rebels storming the compound today of moammar gadhafi there in tripoli. gadhafi's defenders, they fought back but appear to be outnumbered. the fighting has gone on for hours and hours, still no sign of moammar gadhafi. joining me from new york, mike baker, former cia covert operations officer and also chris perry, former british naval commander. welcome to both of you. mike, first question, talk to me about this compound, this gadhafi compound surrounded by the massive concrete walls. how big is it? what i really want to know about is this tunnel system underneath. >> it's a massive compound, you mentioned that before, several kilometers wide and there's a lot of territory inside there, and gadhafi has spent decades fortifying and also preparing
that compound. he's a rather paranoid individual and there are tunnel systems. some speculate there's a tunnel system that leads out to the coast, as far as that but certainly there was opportunity for a lot of the troops that were loyal to gadhafi to disappear through the tunnel systems and to blend into the local communities or to make their way out of tripoli possibly again using the tunnel system and other methods so there is a great deal of concern at this point over the question of well, we didn't meet that much resistance, certainly the resistance we expected so where are they? >> yeah, where are they and who has the plan? i talked to fareed zakaria about this because up until the last couple of days these rebels we've been watching have been fighting in the cities east of tripoli, that's been the story but this whole rebel force came up out of the south. how were they trained, were they trained by western intelligence
agencies like maybe your former employer, the cia? how did they get their weapons? are they trustable? >> there's a variety of elements that make up, we've been using the term rebels but there's militias, legitimate rebel groups of volunteers that come from civilian life, there's defected army forces that came over from gadhafi's side. but over the past several months, there has been a significant effort to provide training, and whether that train something outside the country to some degree in places like qatar or whether it's been through private contractors, we know the british forces, the private contractors have been in there for some time working on the ground as have french to assist in the training, we also know early in the year it became public knowledge that president obama had signed an order authorizing ground assistance in support of the u.n. resolution against gadhafi, so there have been a variety of effort and as
we've gotten closer and closer to this day, it's been more of an official effort through serving forces as opposed to just private contractors arranged through the various governments. >> chris perry if i can just get your reaction to that, too. reports rebels or militias, whatever you want to use to characterize these people, there may be caches of weapons dropped in through the nefussa mountains. who are these rebels and it appears the rebels are on the precipice victory, but will we be fools to think that is the case? >> i think we've got to look at the complexity of what's going on in libya at the moment. i think most of the rebels we're seeing at the moment came out of the mountains in the west. they had a good chance to get themselves together before they went into tripoli. they had literally survived with weapons of the outside, captured of course from the regime. i don't think we should be under
any illusions if gadhafi's compound is captured this would be anything other than messy for the next couple of weeks. >> messy how? >> well, i think as authority crumbles, as the dictatorship is seen to be out of the way, power will become more distributed throughout the country and people will compete for power and influence. it's as simple as that. this is a country that has never known democracy in the true sense and i think you'll find that we'll see the emergence of strong men, particularly those who have been associated with the rebellion asserting themselves. >> mike, i think chris makes an excellent point, the whole idea these are different tribal groups. some of the rebels that wouldn't have dinner together prior to this whole war in libya, now it's sort of this marriage of convenience, they all want gadhafi out, but let's just look ahead to a potential post-gadhafi era. there have to be potentially pockets of opposition. do you see this transition as being smooth? >> not at all, no.
i agree completely with what chris has said. in a sense, we've had for some time this inability of the rebels or the militia groups on the east side to make any headway and he's correct in that what we're seeing the push from the mountains from the south and as a result of the forces that were present in the west, better trained, better resourced, and there is already criticism coming from certain elements in the east side about, you know, the behavior and the way they're conducting their operations on the ground in tripoli. there is some concern from the west side about the ability of the tnc, the transitional national council to hold authority over the entire country, and there will be, i mean most of these groups quite frankly in tripoli are operating somewhat independently of each other, the strategy, the tactics used to move into the city, the secure area that was already taken is very poor. you can see the discipline is
non-existent. there's a lot of problems on the ground. the tnc is doing something very smart hopefully. they're a bit of a technocrat group, a bit of quiet lawyerly types. it will be interesting to see if they can strongarm what will be aggressive interests from the various tribal concerns. >> yes. >> they are aware of because of the iraq experience, they're fully aware of the importance of securing very quickly just the basic things, the power and electricity supplies, getting oil back into the city, providing some measure of security. right after you know we went into baghdad that was one of the biggest concerns was our inability to just do something simple like keep the lights on at night. >> yes. >> and that can have an immeasurable effect on overall security. >> chris i direct my next question to you. mike brings up baghdad and we can't forget the gadhafi loyalists who vehemently said they will live and die for their leader. i don't know, i'm not there, i don't know if there are loyalists right now on the ground in the hundreds or in the
thousands but might this be like baghdad where the supporters, they kind of disappear as could be the case right now, and then appear later in droves. >> yes, brooke, that's a good point. i think in these circumstances what we have learned is it's easier to topple dictators than it is to replace them immediately. i think that's going to be a vacuum in authority. there aren't the state institutions to bring people together to make them behave. as far as i can see the rule of law has been written very well but i'm not quite sure who is going to enforce it. people will naturally gravitate towards those people who can protect their interests and security. the securities is in the hands of the people with the guns and that's not a great recipe for a good democratic transition. i agree with mike that it's going to be quite difficult for the people from the east, from benghazi to assert their control over what is going on and i think unless the libyans are very careful to map their own
future very quickly and to seek outside help as soon as possible they're going to find themselves very much in a vacuum of power and that always means there's trouble. >> despite these images of jubilant rebels today, gentlemen, excellent points made, victory not yet clenched in libya. back to libya in just a moment but of course we're monitoring the aftermath of the 5.8 earthquake that rocked much of the eastern seaboard, including brand new video of the damage, we're going to turn that around and show that. also new reports of more aftershocks, that's next. ut witd making it hard to breathe, i thought those days might be over. so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function, starting within 5 minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. with symbicort, today i'm breathing better, and that means... game on! symbicort is for copd, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day.
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felt it. it has been downgraded just a tad by the usgs, it's a 5.8 earthquake. the epicenter in this one stoplight town essentially in the center of virginia in mineral, virginia, about 80 miles from washington, d.c. and i want to show you some pictures here. we've got some images of some damage actually out of mineral. you can see the aerial pictures of this brick chimney in pieces. i was talking to a woman from mineral not too long ago and she told me they continue to experience aftershocks there. there has been some minimal damage, case in point what you're looking at right there, from the usgs they tell people to continue to expect aftershocks in the range of 2.0 to 3.0 magnitudes. again people experiencing the shakes all up and down the east coast this afternoon. quite a story there and of course we had cameras out and about as cnn always does. i want to just hear some of the sights and sounds and reactions
from some of the people in our nation's capital. take a listen. >> i just looked out the window, i saw the building shake. we were in a meeting. i said i need to leave. i went and grabbed my purse, i'm gone. >> i was on the line with someone in virginia and they were telling us, it's shaking and shaking. what is it? and then i felt, it's shaking over here, too. >> there was a small vibration, and then it got worse and worse and worse and worse, and i thought gosh, we really must be having an earthquake. i looked out the window, but i couldn't see anything moving. >> i've lived through over 50 earthquakes, so my feet are really sensitive so i felt the first light tremor, and i even told a co-worker, i said we're having an earthquake. he said i didn't feel a thing and then the big punch hit, building rattled. i grabbed my coat and cell phone and said "let's get out of the building." >> cue wolf blitzer with our description of the eighth building. eight, nine, ten, you guys are
high enough. what was that experience like for you, your desk shaking a little bit? >> i was writing my "the situation room" blog. i'm in my office and started to feel something, you know, the walls shaking a little bit, the floor shaking just a little bit. i thought some construction was going on, maybe they're doing something on the floor above or floor below but a few seconds in all of a sudden you could really, really feel it. it was significant and it lapsed at least 20, 30 seconds, at which point i ran out of the office and i saw everybody just beginning to run to the stairways, because it was an earthquake, and it was pretty scary for a lot of the folks here. >> of course. >> when we got outside as you saw, brooke. >> yes. >> there were hundreds of people from all the high-rise office buildings on capitol hill near union station, the main train station is in washington, d.c., they had evacuated all these buildings out of precaution, and there were a lot of nervous folks, still pretty much gridlocked traffic here in the nation's capital, pretty awful right now.
what it does underscore, brooke, is that, you know what? we're not necessarily all that ready for a disaster here in washington, d.c. cell phones stopped working very quickly, traffic was a disaster. you know what? we're going to get into that at length in "the situation room" at the top of the hour, some of the lessons that are immediately being learned as a result of what happened over the course of 30 or 40 seconds when the earth basically moved, and it's amazing, too, brooke, 5.8 but it's been felt -- i've been getting tweets from folks from all over. >> up and down. >> from michigan, ohio, from upstate new york, from my home noun buffalo, no, new york. people felt it not only in north carolina but further south than that, so millions, probably tens of millions of people felt this earthquake, and everyone wants to know the extent of the damage, destruction, are there any physical injuries. we'll get into that in "the situation room." >> as if the day wasn't exciting enough given the developments in libya and suddenly this
happened. it's been quite a day of news. wolf blitzer i know you'll be all over it and we'll check the blog as always, cnn.com/situationroom. thank you, sir. >> thank you. coming up next back to the breaking news out of libya. we'll show you how the rebels storming the compound, how it went down, next. met an old man at the top asked him if he had a secret and the old man stopped and thought and said: free 'cause that's how it ought to be my brother credit 'cause you'll need a loan for one thing or another score 'cause they break it down to one simple number that you can use dot to take a break because the name is kinda long com in honor of the internet that it's on put it all together at the end of the song it gives you freecreditscore-dot-com, and i'm gone... offer applies with enrollment in freecreditscore.com naomi pryce: i am. i'm in the name your own price division.
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stormed into bab al aziziyah compound. >> reporter: we're walking into the compound of bab al ziziyah. you can see some of the men, they're yelling "god is great." they have not found anybody, any of the gadhafi family members in this compound. they have knocked down buildings. they have set buildings on fire. there have been loud blasts, booms, lots of celebratory gunfire. people just very, very excited about today. >> alalahu akbar.
>> allahu akbar. >> translator: i would urge all the people especially in our circle, and asking them, asking my people, our children, the ones who fought alongside us in order to reach this great hour, now you are responsible in front of your people and in front of the whole world to show the big picture of who you are. >> the weapons that are coming out of this compound are just massive. . boxes of them, just people carrying them, carrying them out. they're even taking some of the trucks that belong to gadhafi forces. if anything, this is definitely a psychological win. >> sara sidner, thank you. also we're getting a brand
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before we let you go, we're getting an update on hurricane irene. some of you may be in its direct path. chad myers, where is irene now? >> leaving the dominican republic and it's leaving the influence of haiti and the d.r.'s mountains and getting into the turks and caicos in flat and no mountains to tears it up. right now it got dropped down toe a 90-mile-per-hour storm. it was 100 yesterday all afternoon and evening. it is forecast to turn