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tv   News Nation  MSNBC  August 23, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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sure if you even heard our interview with senator koons who was on originally to talk about the breaking news out of libya, and had to switch gears to talk about what was going on there where he heard sirens and evacuation announcements at the end. what is going on there, andrea? >> well, from our part, everyone is safe. we have evacuated outside. we don't know of any injuries in the immediate area, and given what has been experienced elsewhere in the earthquakes in the west coast and seen the devastating earthquakes, this is not damage. i don't see cracks in the buildings and we certainly didn't see anything coming down, but it was a noticeable shaking, i would say lasted probably upwards of a minute and maybe no more than that, and it took a while for many of us especially doing a show and focused so much on the live interviews, i was just finish iing my conversatio
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with you on the jobs fair down in mime mooi and preparing to talk other guests and wrap up the show, so we have had a lot of breaking news today out of libya, and we were focused so heavily on all of the developments there. it just didn't register for a while that this was an earthquake, something that i have lived here now 40 years and i have never experienced anything like that in washington. >> well, i have an e-mail from willie geist our colleague, and he said he felt it in new york, and the walls in his apartment shook for five to seven seconds, and no damage, and nothing since, but i believe that willie is near the west side of manhattan, and he is e-mailing me saying that he felt the tremors there. the usgs map showed that the earthquake centered near charlottesville, virginia, they believe and capitol police are evacuating the u.s. capitol and we got the head's up from the senator coons that this is happening, and after the
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earthquake tremors were violently shaking the building and the ceiling and according to this report for 15 seconds while the tremor hit. 15 seconds in a quake is a lifetime especially in a part of the country that is not prepared for it, and certainly you are not expecting anything of this nature. i also got this in from jim miklaszewski who is saying that his wife and son are in northern montgomery county and said that the earthquake lasted about one minute at least that is what it felt like to them, and they could not stand on the floor which is the same area closest to the epicenter in the quake that happened about a year ago. so these are some of the details that i'm getting in just from our colleague, andrea, in the area, and people in manhattan like willie geist and jim miklaszewski's family who are near the epicenter of last year's quake, and i'm working to get the detalils, but i'm hearig mild tremor but extremely violent and in the capitol
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chandeliers and light fixtures affected by the tremor, itself, so hopefully no injuries here, but we are still waiting to get more details. andrea, what are they telling you at the bureau here. >> well, everyone is outside here, but let me restate in terms of where the leaders of the country are. we know that the president is in martha's vineyard and the secretary of state is in new york at last report and the speaker is in monterrey in california and the vice president was in mongolia and is going to be on the way back from asia, but that is where the vice president is. most of the leaders, speaker of the house and others are in the home district on congressional tours or vacation. so this is a down time in washington. but there is no question about national leadership in terms off where everyone else is today. very few people in the capitol. -- >> and you mentioned martha's
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vineyard, andrea, and goi just t a hot note in that they felt a tremor in the workspace in martha's vineyard and now we have a great portion of the east coast where people are reporting that they felt the tremors and i'm standing not far from congresswoman maxine waters and you mentioned that everyone is spread out and you have members of the congressional black caucus in miami with this, and they are like the rest of us a, baffled by the news coming from washington and the area, but also trying to clamor to get more details. we have a picture of the national mall where people are being evacuated and i believe that we have pete williamston ready to talk about the information that he is gathering with all that is going on. pete, are you there? >> i am, tamron. so far we have not heard of any serious damage here in the washington, d.c. area, because the earthquake was sen the order
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t -- was centered to the south of us in charlottesville, virginia. we are in a part here in washington, d.c. where nbc news is, and we are right next door to the department of homeland security in northwest washington and a high point of the city, and several dhs employees are outside of their building as well. i talked to one of them on the cell phone who said they were ordered outside of their buildings. they are in an old u.s. navy facility hastily converted into the offices of the homelandment they say they have not heard of any damage and the response around town has varied. i talked to folks at the u.s. supreme court and they were not evacuated and the justices are not around in the summer, but a lot of the staff is there. the capitol was and people in parts of the pentagon were and other federal agencies, it seems to to vary, but we have not heard of any reports of damage, but it is so unusual here. my colleague kelly o'donnell who
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spent many years in los angeles, it was nothing to her, and no doubt that it was an earthquake to her, but for those of us who lived in washington for decades, this is not something we are used to feeling here, and it started out very gently, and we could feel our building rumbling. it was as though you were in an area where a freight train was passing by is the only feel i can come to it, and then it became clear that it was an earthquake and i have to admit to you that i did briefly dive under the desk having seen all of the public service announcements about what to do. >> you did the right thing. >> i did briefly dive under my desk, and then when it was pretty clear it was over, we started to working the phones, but so far, no reports of damage here in the d.c. area. >> well, you know what, pete, i'm looking at twitter right now and to your point people are processing this in a number of ways and it has now been upgraded to 6.0. and jonathan capehart one of the analysts did the same thing at his desk in the workspace and he
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was frightened. ari elber said, everybody calm down and if this is a earthquake, we are supposed to react and ironically, on the east coast if something like this happens, minds wander and people are reporting that they are not able to make phone calls and working to confirm that, but they have people saying they are in midtown manhattan and for whatever reason the cell service is working and that could be the high volume of calls like everyone else and you want to call and check on everyone and make sure they are okay. and i got a sweet from chapel hill, and from wake forest, north carolina, and outside of raleigh folks are saying they are feeling the quake, and luke russert is tweeting to attempt to go live there, and everyone is trying to gather their thoughts and go live with this.
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and you see the events at the national mall and i was on the phone with senator coons, and like you, he said i was walking around and i felt suddenly the earth shake under my feet. i have a note here that another evacuation is taking place, but pete, any more information about the buildingings in your area being evacuated? >> no, i think that pretty soon people will be allowed back into their buildings here now that it is clearly or at least as far as anyone can tell over. there will be concern about the condition of the buildings, and that may be one question that federal officials will want to look at. i am sure that there is somewhere in washington a plan of what to do about a earthquake, but if there is one, they are grabbing it off of the shelf and blowing the dust off of it, because the only disaster that officials had in mind here was them oc coming of the hurri bearing down and the u.s. and thought to be reaching this area
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shortly here, tamron. >> okay. well, pete, i have a tweet in from backbay in downtown boston and this is someone who felt they were -- and i want to be responsible and not go off of what people are saying, but the chatter in the e-mails coming in, it follows the pattern, and let me go to craig melvin any colleague standing by and we are looking at the epicenter, and craig, a 6.0 is the estimate of the earthquake, but this number has been ticking up over the last 12 minutes or so i have been on. >> that is what i am getting here. and you have been getting tweets, too, and i have been getting tweets here. i have spent a number of years working in the same building with pete williams, and if you think that folks in washington, d.c. are freaked out by an earthquake, talk about the carolinas, that is where i'm originally from. south carolina, i have gotten a number of friends down there sending me e-mails and tweets and text messages saying that the buildings there in south carolina have been evacuated as a result of the earthquake, so
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apparently the tremors are being felt. north carolina, south carolina, virginia, and we heard obviously from the folks there in the d.c. area, and detroit, michigan, and we have just heard here in the newsroom that a number of folks in the detroit area say that they have felt aftershocks there, and again, we are trying to gather exactly who felt this earthquake and everyone that we are hearing from so far say that it was about 60 seconds that they felt it, and fortunately at this point, we have not heard of any reports of any injuries, any reports of major damage, but again, you know, it has been 10, 15 minutes so far. >> right. well, craig, steve forbes a former colleague at msnbc says he lives at 86th and broadway on the sixth floor in a high-rise and they felt the building waiver for six to seven seconds and he says that the building is right above the subway, but they never felt a tremor like this before. i am getting reports from new
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hav haven, connecticut, where people felt it there and my best friend is vacationing in delaware, and she sent me a message from what she thought was a vacation on the beaches of delaware and what is going on question mark as she is explaining to me she has felt it. in the last ten minutes i have received 100 if not 200 tweets from people all along the east coast who have said they felt the tremor here, and we are getting information from the wnbc producer from the attorney general's office says that at the d.a.'s office they could feel the building tremor an someone said it was a earthquake and then they felt an unusual smell as if something was burning and they could hear the debris falling, and so that was in the new york city attorney general office coming in from a wnbc producer, so we are getting this live image from washington, d.c., and you will see the nation's capital there, and we know that people up and down the
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east coast and craig, what is so ironic here is that we are in south florida and we have been paying attention to irene and we thought that was the potential natural disaster that we would be talking about because of the hurricane picking up power and intensity, and it really battered puerto rico and headed to the bahamas, so we thought we would be talking about the effects of that, but now we are talking about the earthquake and we want to put in perspective as you did, craig, so far, no reports of injuries and debris problems and issues reported from a number of people, but it is a 6.0, and whether people are injured or not, that is the most important, but you can imagine how frayed nerves are right now, because boom, boom, boom, all of the information is going across the country, did you feel that? did you feel that? and people learning it was an earthquake. >> tamron, columbus, ohio, and cincinnati, ohio, and add that to the list are two more cities feeling the tremors, and we
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should note that two buildings in the new york city area, and this is according to the associated press, but government buildings here in new york city including city hall have been evacuated. the 26-story federal courthouse in lower manhattan evacuating hundreds of people seen leaving that building and at this point, they are not letting people back in. we have not gotten reports of tremors here in the past few minutes, but again, reports of people feeling the tremors from the east coast. and now in parts of the midwest apparently. >> okay. you know what, craig. thank you. let me go to peggy hellway, a seismologist who is standing by, and tell us what happened here. >> well, there was an earthquake west-southwest of washington, d.c. and one of the big differences was that it was a magnitude of 5.9 and one of the big differences between the east
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coast and the west coast is that a magnitude 5.9 is felt much, much more broadly in the east than the west. >> and right now, can you give me some perspective on the amount of, of space and miles that we are hearing these tremors up and down the east coast where we are hearing people give credible reports of having felt these tremors? >> and that would be true. and for the people close to the epicenter in eastern virginia and washington, d.c., it would have been relatively sharp and relatively rattling-like, and the people much farther away would be expecting to feel a much more rolling motion say in new york city or in ohio and so on, they would expect a much more rolling motion, because a short sharp jolt is less likely to make a big building like a
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skyscraper sway, and the people in new york would be feeling it much more strongly. those surface waves which are giving the rolling motions than they would here. >> what are you looking for next here? should we be bracing for any other smaller tremors? i know you can't predict the future here, but what should we be looking for next here? >> so, in general, when there is a moderate to large earthquake, there are aftershocks. i would not expect them to be big. but, the earth is always surprising to us. for example, in japan there was a magnitude 7.0, and a couple of days later, there was a huge one and i don't expect that. the last three earthquakes on the east coast, one in the early 1900s and one in the late 1800s and charleston with the grand banks earthquake and in general the east coast is much more
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quiet than the west coast. >> thank you, peggy, i am hoping you can standby. i want to go to peter alexander in midtown manhattan, and what are you seeing there? >> we came outside of 30 rock, the building we are in and so many of the skyscrapers and what many people around america know as the concrete jungle, because they are not familiar with this and trying to get to safety. one thing we have noticed is that people are having trouble, including myself, with the cell service, and the lines appear to have been down as people have been trying to communicate to others to say, are you okay or did you feel that? and here, obviously, at this point, life is slowly trying to return to normal, but a lot of people are still outside of buildings having evacuated. when the initial rolling started to take place, now in the last half hour or so looking outside you saw many people staring outside of the windows trying to get a sense of what is going on
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and if people in nearby buildings felt it, and at that moment, a lot of people didn't know what to do and they evacuated. this is exposing itself one of the challenges in emergency situations in new york city is what exactly to do in a situation like this, because people went outside and they kept asking me, where do we go? what are we supposed to do? and we have not heard of any reports of injuries, but people are on edge. one woman i spoke to in a few moments ago said she has been reaching out to 15 minutes off a young mother trying to reach her child at day care and finally got to answer and okay that everybody was just fine. tamron. >> all right. peter, okay. let me go to ron allen at the federal courthouse in new york. ron, real quick though, i hear that union station in d.c. has been evacuated. just getting the word that union station has been evacuated in washington, d.c., and ron allen, you are at the federal courthouse in new york and what are you seeing and hearing there? >> well, this building has been evacuated, too, tamron, as well
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as many other parts of new york city. if you can pan the camera around, there are hundreds of people standing out on the streets in the public park here looking back to wonder what to do next. when the ground shook, the building was evacuated immediately, and the district attorney here was about to have a press conference here about the dominique strauss-kahn case and the dismissal and all of the sudden he left the room. one person told us that they heard debris falling somewhere in the building, and that is a report that has not been confirmed and we can see that the police have cordoned off the area, and you can see them perhaps on the steps in front of the building, but they are relaxed though. it does not look like an emergency situation, but they don't want anybody to go backbue sure what happened. this is a 12 to 14-foot building we are standing in front of. and in that direction, see scores of people out on the
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streets to get instruction and it is a relaxed atmosphere and people are on the phone trying to contact loved ones or relatives or kids at day care or schools and there is no sense of panic here. people were literally jolted, and of course, you don't feel earthquakes in this part of the country at all. so it was surprising more than anything else. i walked out of of the truck here and i was walking along the ground and i sort of felt a little uneasy, but frankly i thought it was me and not an earthquake and i have lived in california and covered earthquakes all over the world, and i didn't think it was that, but again, the bottom line is that there are literally hundreds of thousands of people evacuated here and it is coming up on 2:30 almost here on the east coast and wondering to get a day off of work or not, because at this point the situation is unsettled. i can hear some sirens off in the distance. again people have evacuated the buildings up there, and the courthouse and no sense of panic
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or dire emergency, but a sense of uncertainty of what happened here. tamron? >> what you are explaining here, is the same sentiment that our colleagues here in d.c. have been observing of the people in the national mall and elsewhere to sense what is that? what is going on? and now back to andrea mitchell who is standing by at the washington, d.c. building where her show was interrupted and you had to evacuate there and what is happening and what is the latest from your vantage point? >> well, people are allowed back in the building a and tnd up to. it takes a lot to knock me off of the broadcast, tamron. i remember one earthquake in belgrade during the nato bombing and i was knocked out of bed and i thought it was the bombing around us, but it was the earthquake and we vac waited the hotel that night, and this is a three-story building and our studio is on the third floor.
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everybody came down very calmly down the steps, but clearly knock ed off of the air from th rumbling sense first described by my colleagues, pete williams and other, and you know the glass and metal desk in the studio, that desktop started to go up and down and seemed as though everything was moving a couple of inches up and down and the papers going every which way, and clearly, it took a while to register. i was probably the last to get it that it was in fact an earthquake, but smarter heads prevailed and came in to get all of us out. our producers and our desk assistants and the camera crews and floor manager and we came down the steps, and after about a half hour out here, people are now let back inside, and as you know, it has been described preliminary as a 5.9, but throughout the city, we are told by police and fire by tweet that they have not heard of any
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emergencies that people have been calmly evacuating the nation's capitol. tamron. >> all right. thank you, andrea. now over to jim miklaszewski, we have reports of northern atlanta georgia says that the earthquake was felt near them, and the chicago bureau is saying they are receiving calls from indianapolis, and people saying they also felt tremors, there and what can you report from your vantage point, because i assume you are near the pentagon, mick? >> well, i was in the pentagon and in the nbc office where i'm talking to you now. and you know, it started out as a just a shimmer for a couple of seconds and i sort of cocked my head and thought that is odd and then it started to shake for five to ten seconds and knocked some books off of the shelf, but i have to tell you that this is a solid concrete building. and the last time i felt that
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kind of tremor in this building was on 9/11 when american airlines flight 77 slammed into the building, and that is the first reaction of some of the people in the building, oh, my god, it has happened again. but when it continued for five to ten seconds, people realized that it had to be an earthquake. now, my family, my home is in northern montgomery county near the epicenter of an earthquake a year ago last july, and they said that it there, my son and my wife, said that the tremor continued there for about a minute, and got so strong that they could not stand, and they positioned themselves in a doorway as you are taught to do, and my son having once lived in los angeles had his wits about it, and said this is an earthquake and protect ourselves, but fortunately, no damage in our neighborhood, and no damage here. they have given the all-clear after they evacuated the pentagon temporarily, and they
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have declared the building safe and everybody is streaming back in. >> all right. mick, thank you very much, and i want to remind our audience what you are looking at. you can see the capitol there and the iconic view from times square, and a lot of activity. we have information from the nuclear plants in the area. the one near the epicenter in virginia is on lake anna virginia, and that plant has two reactors and both tripped automatically and shutdown, and the plant has declared a quote unusual event which by the way is the lowest stage in their emergency scale. let me go now to tom costello, my colleague standing by, and i understand that you have new updates for me as well. >> well, the information that you have what i just put into the hot file, tamron, and that is right. i got off of the phone with the nuclear regulatory commission, and they saying that that plant there in virginia that is near the episen is ter acenter is on virginia, and both of to
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reactors have tripped there, and it is described unusual event, their words, which is the lowest stage of the emergency scale. now they will do a walk-down inspection and assess the conditions to maintain safety there, and it is not clear if there are any other concerns there. however, five other plants have declared unusual events. and these are five other nuclear plants along the east coast. hope creek, new jersey, salem, new jersey, oyster creek, new jersey, and susquehanna, and three mile island and in maryland, calvert cliffs, and we are making it clear, we are not saying that there is an emergency there or any concern of an emergency, but they have declared or notified the nrc of unusual events, and so they go through a number of steps to insure that the plants are safe. but the north anna plant at lake anna, virginia, that plant has
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two reactors and came online in 1978 and both reactors have tripped and shutdown au automatically and the plant has recorded unusual event and now beginning the procedures to assess any, any concerns whatsoever. and while i have you on the line, several airport control towers were evacuated. and they include jfk in new york as well as newark airport on the new jersey side of newark as they inspect the towers for potential concerns, but the a airstrips themselves to make sure there is no serious cracks in the foundations at that point. that is what i can give you at this moment. >> that is a lot. our colleague john harwood said he was on the amtrak fast train, if you will, that stopped outside of baltimore while amtrak checks the soundness of the track. that is the information i'm receiving from john harwood, and also according to t toing to u.
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geological society that this earthquake is the largest to hit virginia since the one in giles, virginia, which was may 5th, 1897. this is the information that i'm receiving. back to the headquarters in new york, and craig, i'm getting various details about evacuations and such that the last one was at union station in d.c. any more updates? tom was telling us about the airport as well and any more news regarding evacuations that you have gotten in? >> no, no new news of evacuations and you mentioned the social media and twitter earlier, but we are hearing from the folks who are having a hard time using the cell phone and hard time to get in touch to check with the loved ones, and they are sending text messages on twitter and facebook as well. so we are hearing from a lot of those people, but in terms of the evacuations there is no new information other than what we have reported already. you mentioned union station down in washington, d.c. a short time
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ago, and the union station at last check still evacuated. also in cleveland, shock waves from the earthquake there forced the major league baseball game there between the mariners and the indians that we are told that there were some concerns there, so folks there in the stadium were on standby for a while. there was not an official evacuation, but a concern that they would evacuate that stadium and again at this point, no new information on evacuations, tamron. >> all right. thank you, craig. now, over to lester holt who is in midtown manhattan in the center of the city, and what are you seeing there, lester? >> well, i actually came back from downtown manhattan and i was at ground zero shooting a story at the new memorial, and so it is a construction site and i did not feel it. i came outside and noticed people standing around the buildings and as we are around manhattan in the office buildings, and people who have been evacuated by force or on
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their own and we passed by what appeared to be a day care center of some sort where they had taken cribs out on the street with the children, and the workers were caring for the chidren and certainly no sign of damage and you would not expect it in a earthquake of this magnitude, but people here will not react in tokyo or california, because it is a rare event in new york city. i'm now going to greenwich village and seems like a normal day here with people going about their business, but clearly around the tall office buildings, people were taking precautions and standing out there to waiter for some kind of instructions and even those who felt it were not sure it was an earthquake, because it is not the first thing that goes through your mind in the part of the country. but as i said as gi go through cl chelsea and greenwich, a lot of the people in thatt earea is beg more cautious in.
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>> and folks are reacting more than in the west, and i cannot tell you that people are on twitter to let the world know for lack of a better description that they felt it in ohio and in their small community in pennsylvania and pinging across the east coast how many people are reacting to what would be seen as a small tremor out west in california. >> well, i'm a california native and grew up there and lived in alaska for a time, and i was in japan and haiti for all of the aftershocks there, so, you get a different perspective, but clearly no one knows what to expect here. it does not happen very often, and this is a city with a lot of old, old buildings, and certainly people are probably doing the prudent and cautious thing to let the building engineers take a look and make sure no damage. but we can tell you that i have drif phren the financial district in chelsea and almost to manhattan and people are
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standing about like, wow, did you feel that? >> and that is what you are hearing online. thank you, lester. and back to andrea mitchell. we are hearing that andrews air force base control tower has been evacuated which is affecting their flight plan. they apparently have their flight plan come out of that particular control tower and we heard a similar thing from tom costello of the air traffic control affected at jfk and at least two other airports in our area. >> well, andrews is a major air facility here and it is all of the governmental aircraft travel in and out of andrews. that is probably about 10 to 15 miles outside of washington, d.c. in prince georges county and that is a major factor and we have to check with the other airports in the area. you heard tom costello, of course, talking about the nuclear plant in virginia having been triggered with an automatic shutdown. that is a very good thing, indeed. the reason why there was so much trouble in japan, of course, is
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that the tsunami and we are not in any kind of zone like that, but it is the water that affected the power, the electricity that has to keep the cooling going around the reactor rods. so as long as they have electricity, they are fine there, because that water has to keep going to keep the reactor rods cool once the reactor, itself, is shut down. we are now being permitted to go back into the studios and there is a three-story building and we were on a commercial break, because we were on the air, but we were faced with the rumbling of what we now know initially reported as 5.9 magnitude earthquake, and so rare for this area, for this whole east coast area indeed. as i said, my only other experience with an earthquake not being a californian was once in belgrade, and it was a similar kind of experience, but not anything quite so dramatic as feeling the whole room around you just start shaking as it did before we had to evacuate. and you heard the report from
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john harwood about amtrak having been stopped while they check the tracks. there is another report from the station wrc and they have pictures of some sandstone and granite crumb frblg tling from spires of the washington cathedral. >> and over to pete williams and andrea mentioned amtrak and we got that tweet in from john harwood our colleague saying that amtrak is checking the tracks outside of baltimore and what is the update, pete? >> well, it is not just the tracks they are looks at, but amtrak according to the official i just talked to shut down service in several northeastern states while it looks at what they generally call infrasfrauk chur, and you are looking at a still picture of people outside of union station in washington, d.c. a moment ago and that is the picture of people that's just down the street from the
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u.s. capitol building, and you will see people outside of union station. so infrastructure would include train stations, themselves, and tracks, but also amtrak says tunnels. and also bridges. and that makes a lot of sense if you think about it. so if you think about how much of that there is to look at coming into washington, d.c. or into baltimore or cities up and down the northeast corridor, there are lots of tunnels and bridges that the trains go up and under and through and all of that is going to have to be looked at and we are looking at many hours of shutdown of service of amtrak, and obviously, these will vary by lines and some they can quickly check and determine, but what an amtrak official says that this is basically what amtrak goes through on the west coast when there is an earthquake, and they are doing the same thing here.
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so, a lot of this is new to us on the east coast, but i'm sure a lot of the viewers on the west coast are saying, welcome to the party. >> right. >> but that is a considerable, and that is a considerably going to affect obviously the afternoon commute and potentially tomorrow morning for amtrak and the northeast corridor, and secondly, a homeland security official tells me that a quick pulse around washington, d.c. finds no reports of any damage or any injuries from the earthquake here in the washington area, tamron. >> all right. thank you, pete. now, over to bill kcahill with the port authority in new york. and bill, start off with the information of where things stand right now. >> the federal aviation administration evacuated its control tower at john f. kennedy international and newark international airport after the tremblers hit. they are going to do an inspection to make sure that the
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building is sound. and we are going to inspect our airfields at those two airfields to make sure they are sound, and if they are, we will resume operations. our other airport, teterboro and laguardia and stewart international airport were not affected. >> bill, were you in the office when these tremors were felt and did you feel anything -- hang on, bill. we are looking at video that is just feeding in of people, i believe in the press room when the tremors were felt, and you see them scattering about, and bill, tell me what was happening in your office when the tremors were felt. >> some people in my office felt the tremblers, and other people affected immediately said, what was that? funny enough, i didn't feel a thing, and i have felt earthquakes in the northeast before. i think about a 4.0 magnitude
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and they felt like a train rumbling nearby, but i didn't feel this one. >> can you tell me what else might be impacted as far as transportation and travel from your vantage point that you would imagine it is 2:00 eastern time and if people work a traditional work schedule, they are headed out soon, and what might be impacted that you can tell us about? >> well, we are doing structural inspections of all of the facilities and we operate the tunnels and the bridges between the states of new york and new jersey and also the path of the rapid transit system, and we are inspecting that infrastructure, but it does not seem like there's been as far as we can tell that at this point any damage or injuries. >> all right. bill cahill with the port authority in new york. thank you. now over to my colleague john harwood, and i understand that you are on a amtrak train and amtrak officials say that
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operations in several states have been affected and they have stopped trains to inspect bridges and tunnels in several states, and john, what are you seeing on that train you are on outside of baltimore? >> yes, tamron. i'm on an accella express, and they are saying that the trains arek bad up behind them while they inspect is the tracks. i did feel anything while we were riding but it is such an unusual situation, because everyone here is trying to call back to friends and relatives in either new york or washington, and sometimes you get through and sometimes you can't. i just reached my 18-year-old daughter and said i didn't feel anything, but i got to the mall and the mall was closed so now i'm going home. so, it's all of the e-mail reports that i am hearing from the colleagues in washington is that the building shook, but no visible damage, so we are sitting parked in bright sunshine on the tracks.
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>> what are they saying, what are the conductors or whomever would pass along information say to the passengers? >> they are saying it is going to be a while, while they inspect, and they have not made it sound all that ominous to us. they said it is just out of an abundance of caution and no particular reason that at least we can tell from the travel that we had before we stopped that there was any danger with the tracks, but obviously, everybody is concerned about whether or not there's an aftershock or whether the tremors that were felt initially in the beginning of something or the end of something. >> all right. john, let me go back to our colleague andrea mitchell and update from homeland security, and what is that information? >> well, we heard a public address announcement, which we heard because we are in their backyard or ours, because we are neighbors, but to standby, because this is a real world announcement that the secretary
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was evaluating whether or not they could go back inside. so that the homeland security people are still evacuated right next door. it is a secure facility, sur rounded by a fence, and we know that there is a lot of equipment there, and many hundreds if not thousands of employees that is classified number, but they have all been evacuated into the open air here in knnorthwest washington, and they are waiting for the all-clear sign for them. and it was a year ago on july 16th, 2010, that until then the largest tremor ever felt in d.c. it was 5:04 a.m. local time and it was 3.6. a tremor that was centered in rockville, maryland, a little bit outside of the district of columbia in the suburbs, and this is the only previous time that those of us who have lived here a long time remember it, and it was not really felt, so it was nothing like what we felt today. tamron. >> absolutely. and some more perspective and we
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reported this according to the u.s. geological earth website the largest earthquake to hit virginia sinceequa hit giles county, virginia, may 5th, 1897. and the pentagon is reporting that a large broken water pipe in the pentagon has caused considerable flooding on one side of the building and that is the only damage they know for now and water is shut off, but it will be turned back on soon. let me go to my colleague craig melvin in the new york headquarters and what information are you gathering there? >>tamron, we are tracking the people evacuated and also according to the social media, but according to the national park center, all of the national mall malls and the memorials and all of them there in washington, d.c. have been closed and
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evacuated after that quake, so again, park service saying that all of the malls and the monuments and the memorials there, and a lot of folks on vacation there in washington, d.c., and all of those for the time being have been closed and evacuated. we are getting reports from providence, rhode island, and providence, there is a number of stories of folks in downtown providence after feeling the earth shake there, folks spilled into the streets and they all kind of looked around at each other as if to say, what do we do now? but hordes of folks spilling into the streets the of providence we are told. the air traffic control tower, the air traffic control tower of andrews has been evacuated and also, i believe we reported this a short time ago that the federal courthouse in lower manhattan and the 26-story federal courthouse one of the federal government buildings here in new york city, that building was evacuated and city hall also evacuated briefly as well. the earthquake being felt in
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d.c. and new york city obviously, and north carolina and michigan and georgia and illinois and getting reports again as far south as south carolina the tremors being felt here in the aftershocks, tamron. >> all right. craig, thank you very much, and joining us now is bob bizelle and you have interesting perspective of the difference of the east coast earthquake versus what we would see on the west, but the closest nuclear plant is the north anna plant which is on lake anna, virginia, and the plant has two reactors and both trippeded automatically and shut down, but the plant declared an unusual event which is the lowest stage in the emergency scale, so that is great news in that respect. bob, you were in japan and you saw the worseworse of what a earthquake and tsunami can bring
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and who knew there was a difference. >> yes, a big difference of earthquakes in the western united states and the eastern united states like the one we had a few moments ago. the ones in the western united states, because it is more recent in terms of the geology, the earth is softer so that the earthquakes tend to not be felt as far. so when you have an earthquake of this magnitude in the eastern united states, it will shake very hard. it is like shake, and think of it as shaking a rock as opposed to shaking a bowl of jell-o. in the west it is more like jell-o and in the east it is more like a rock. so you will get a hard shake in the east, and it is felt a long way. i was downtown when this happened in greenwich village at a restaurant with friends and i felt the earthquake and nobody else did, and the reason is that i have spent a lot of time recently in japan and haiti before that, so i'm familiar with what a small earthquake feels like and relatively small here in new york, but driving up through here in midtown i noticed a huge number of large skyscraper office buildings have been evacuated and a lot of the
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people are milling around on the streets. so you have a big difference of geology, and we often think of earthquakes occurring in the west, and of course, the big california faults and the faumts throughout many other areas in the west with big dangers in oregon and washington, but ther earthquakes for years in the east, but this is not expected and much more rare, but when it does happen, it has the potential to cause damage. from the reports you are giving us, it does not seem that the damage is extensive and the reasons are that the buildings are evacuated is that they want to make sure everything is safe before you go back in. an earthquake like this does not usually mean a bigger one is going to follow on the east coast, although it can sometimes be a precursor of a larger quake although that is not usually the case. >> and i'm just getting this information in from stephanie baxter, bob. she is with the delaware
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geological survey and says that the earthquake 5.9 magnitude was experienced in delaware which we know now and the earthquake started in the mid-atlantic region and all counties in the city of wilmington have been can a vassed and they are reporting minimal power outages and a single gasline rupture, but these are the good details coming out. s -- some of the inconveniences the faa has been evacuated and the airports, newark and othjfk and this is impacting people getting home later in the day, and we talked to john harwood on the amtrak train and they are checking the infrastructure and we know that the tunnels and the layout of the new york area and the east coast makes it interesting. i say this, bob, because i have a tweet from somebody in l.a. saying yawn as a response to how this is being played out and how people are reacting, but this is
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not a usual thing for folks who live in this part of our country. >> absolutely. a 5.9 earthquake is not a small earthquake. a 5.9 earthquake over a populated area in los angeles or san francisco could cause an enormous amount of damage, and from the first reports we are getting, it seems we escaped this bullet with a lot of luck here. it seems that there is not as much damage as there well could have been from a earthquake of this magnitude in the part of the country, and yes, people felt it and millions of people felt it when it occurred, but it seems that we are lucky with the minimum amount of damage. there are however, reports of flight delays in almost every airport up and down the east coast now as because you mentioned that the faa headquarters evacuated and a lot of the control towers and everything has slowed down to make sure everything is safe before you proceed with the normal operations, so it is causing a lot of disruption and causing a lot of people to have left their offices, and a lot of
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of, well, a lot of fear of something that's just not fanl yar in th -- familiar in this part of the world. >> absolutely. we are getting in information, bob, that the earthquake that shook the east coast is causing connection problems for verizon users and at&t connections as people went scrambling for the phones and we heard about this, and now the two big cell companies are confirming some interruption, and problems with people being able to make phone calls. over the our wbi affiliate, and what can you tell us from detroit? >> well, we didn't feel any shaking in the news roomt, and we are located in downtown detroit, but we are receiving news from auburn hills area in particular, and we are told that at chrysler headquarters they did feel shaking and had the workers there evacuated. what is interesting is that
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right across the river, the detroit river is windsor canada, and we are getting reports from there as well that they did feel some shaking and swaying, and that there were quite a few evacuations there. and the coast guard in about 60 u.s. and canadian agencies were staging some exercises here in the detroit area, so had anything seriously happened, we would have been well prepared. >> all right. thank you very much. i want to update the audience on some of the first-handt accounts we are getting in. this is from des plaines, illino illinois, and northwest chicago suburb, and tracy says that she is an employee at wells, inc., and uneasy feeling and the co-workers looked around and said, did you feel that? and people kept asking each other that over and over and they all felt it and lasted in their estimation 30 to 45 seconds, and again, this is in des plaines, illinois, outside of chicago, and she reports that
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nothing fell off of the shelves, but the floor was shaking and general uneasy innocence tiness building. and felt like a train or something, and so that is from an employee at a building in des plaines, illinois. people are milling about in the national mall, and bob bizle is standing by, and you can't say it enough, but this may prove to be a huge transportation issue as the day moves on. we are seeing traffic, and maybe from the flow of the day, but the port authority, we spoke with them earlier, they are checking the bridges and the tunnel tunnels, ets, to make sure there is no damage. >> right. the point is that this was an earthquake that has the potential energy to have caused a lot of of problems, and we seem to be fortunate so far that we have heard about one broken water main, but that is near the pentagon or in the pentagon, but that is it. you can't be too careful with something like the holland
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tunnel or the lincoln tunnel where an enormous number of cars go through it at one time and if there is any leak, you have to repair it right away and no indication that has happened, but that is why the transportation is slowing down. and them atrack trains, you have to look at the tracks. and airports, you have to look for the cracks in the runway and make sure that all of the towers are functioning properly, and the problem you alluded to before that nowadays everybody feels like something like that, they get on the cell phone and it swamps the cell phone system, and communications are difficult. so there are a lot of things slowing down this afternoon and fortunately, it is that time of august when a lot of the people are on vacation and not as many people at work and the weather right now, although we have a hurricane approaching, but the weather right now in the northeast is pretty good. so in most places people are not facing a lot of discomfort because they have to go outside of the offices and stand on the street, so we have that to be thankful for as well. and again, back to the 5.9 in
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the east coast where the rock is really hard and shakes hard and that is why you are seeing or hearing the reports of people enormous distances from the epicenter of this earthquake who are feeling it. it is very unusual to havettequake have ett earthquakes in the northeast, because the rock is old and solid and shakes for long distances, and we are seeing the effects of that now. >> yeah. and to that point to update the audience on things impacted. the airport and status delays of washington national, and newark international, and washington dulles, and jfk and philadelphia all reporting some issues, airport delays as a result of what we are seeing, so these are major airports and the big ones, the big guys on the east coast so we have to keep an eye on the delays and issues related which means that i won't be making it home from miami on a selfish note it seems, but let me go to ron allen where there was an evacuation at the federal
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courthouse in manhattan, and ron, i understand that folks are let back into the building, and that is a old building to bob's point that these are things that people have to look out for, because i was recently in that building, and that is an old structure. >> well, you know, tamron, if i were in a building like this 20 stories tall and i felt that shaking, i would have left too. i with tounz ground aas on the it, too, and now long lines of security as people are going back in. some people felt it and some didn't, and others listened to the warning to evacuate and others took it upon themselves to get out. most people were startled and they could not believe it was annettequakan annette -- an earthquake, but in new york city, when you have something happen, you can fear the worst for a while, but most people thought it was the subway and making noise and rumbling, and personally, i -headed and i felt it was hot
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day, and i haven't eaten and maybe it was just me, but it was not me and something and so i feel better. and we saw emergency vehicles down here with a lot of federal and state buildings and high-ri high-rises, so it served as a warning and fire drill for a lot of the emergency service workers to get out to see what is going on as you and others have been reporting there are now emergency crews looking at the bridges and the subway and the tunnels and just to make sure, and give everything a good once over, but the bottom line is that here, a lot of things are normal and a lot of people back to the building and a lot of of people here in the park trying to get an early afternoon off as well. tamron. >> thank you, ron. over to pete williams and i understand that you have an update, pete, especially on the university not far from the epicenter in virginia of this quake? >> well, that is right. the quake was centered according to the u.s. geological survey at the town of mineral, virginia, which is not far from
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charlottesville, virginia, which is where the main state school is located in virginia, and one official said that the earthquake was vividly felt there and lasted for ten seconds and people voluntarily fled the campus buildings, and that the main priority, tamron, is inspecting the university's vintage build ings that were designed by thomas jefferson, and the main part of the campus there what they call the grounds at uva, and they are looking at all of those. there are several what they call serpentine walls that date from jefferson's days and they are meandering walls that are s-curved and getting a lot of priority in addition to the rotunda and some of the main buildings on campus that are being inspected, but the university official there says that the operations of the university have not been fundamentally changed. of course, it is summertime now, and they are on a summer class schedule, but that nothing has been canceled, and they have no
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reports of damage or injury, and you know, tamron, as you were talking with bob bazell, that is is the case everywhere we check and certainly the case at homeland security which is next door to us here in washington, d.c. a homeland official says that many of the homeland folks did leave their buildings today, but that the operation center at homeland remained continually operating and that part was not affected, but check around town, there doesn't seem to be here in washington any serious reports of damage or injury or damage to buildings or, so i think that, you know, at least as far as we can tell so far, people who are going to feel this the most travelers, people who are flying, where airport travel has been affected and especially people on trains who are sitting on the trains for a long time, especially if the train they are on is going to go through a tunnel or over a bridge before it reaches its destination,
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because amtrak wants a look at it before they drive any trains over them or under them. >> right, pete. that is to your point, it is at this point not about the damages, because it seems that as you point out report after report no serious damage and no injuries, but the inconveniences, and the nypd has told our affiliate there that because of the heavy volume of calls the nypd is asking people to call 911 for serious emergencies only, and cnbc is reporting that verizon wireless says they had network congestion for some people in the east for 20 minutes after the tremor, but they say no damage to the network that was built for reliability in situations like this, but however for 20 minutes people could not make phone calls because of the congestion. and the usgs is confirming to mike tomaso is that the
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magnitude at the center of the quake is 5.8. we cannot refer it to as a magnitude when talking about the tr tremors in new york, because it is measured by intensity and, pete, between two and three and again perspective-wise, you are in manhattan and not expecting it, a 2.0 or 3.0 feels like something else. i have a statement from mayor michael bloomberg, like people up and down the east coast the people in the five burroughs have felt the tremor, and we have activated the department of buildings and thankfully no reports of significant damages or injuries at this time. as always, urge the new yorkers to call 911 only in the case of actual e energy smergency and t of the statement from the mayor
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of new york city michael bloomberg. we know that, pete to, your point, a lot of the information getting out at this point is about the inconveniences and the issues of checking out the soundness of the bridges, tunnels and making sure that the airports and buildings and structures are okay, but so far, we are not hearing of the major reports of damages and debris here and there, but thankfully, nothing more than that, pete. >> well, i think, tamron, the business of checking out the monumental buildings in washington, and i mean two ways, literally monuments like the lincoln memorial, and like the jefferson memorial and instructive thing happened here a couple of years ago when a little piece about the size of a -- what -- a can of coffee and not during an earthquake, but it crashed down to the marble steps below and that caused a lot o

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