Cracks Discovered in Washington Monument After Record Quake

Cracking was found in the stones at the top of the Washington Monument Tuesday evening, the National Park Service reported. The National Park Service temporarily closed the Washington Monument,...
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 23: U.S. Park Police work to keep people away from the area surrounding the Washington Monument after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the east coast August 23, 2011 in Washington, DC. Police officers said that unidentified material had fallen off the Washington Monument as a result of the earthquake. All the monuments and buildings along the National Mall have been evacuated and closed
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Cracking was found in the stones at the top of the Washington Monument Tuesday evening, the National Park Service reported.

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 23: U.S. Park Police work to keep people away from the area surrounding the Washington Monument after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the east coast August 23, 2011 in Washington, DC. Police officers said that unidentified material had fallen off the Washington Monument as a result of the earthquake. All the monuments and buildings along the National Mall have been evacuated and closed

The National Park Service temporarily closed the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and the Old Post Office Tower as a precaution following Tuesday’s earthquake.

The cracking in the Monument was discovered during a secondary inspection. Structural engineers will evaluate the cracks Wednesday and determine how to repair them before the Monument is reopened.

The grounds have reopened except for an area of about 100 feet outside of the plaza. The Lincoln and Jefferson memorials reopened at about 7:20 p.m.

The monuments and memorials were evacuated following the earthquake. No injuries to any visitors have been reported.

The NPS said it is evaluating the structures to ensure that they are structurally sound and safe for all visitors. Agency spokesman Jeffrey Olson had told the AP that there was “absolutely no damage” to the Washington Monument, contrary to media reports elsewhere that it was leaning.

“Absolutely incorrect,” U.S. Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser said of media reports that the Washington Monument was leaning. “It stands tall and proud.”

The NPS said said a preliminary inspection of the Washington Monument and found it to be structurally sound. The NPS will continue to inspect the interior of the Monument before any decisions are made about reopening it to the public.

The Old Post Office Tower will open at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the World War II Memorial, Vietnam Memorial and the Korean War Memorial remain open.

Tourmobile’s twilight tour for Tuesday night has been canceled. source – NBC Washington

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