United States transport disrupted following East Coast earthquake

United States transport disrupted following East Coast earthquake

A 5.8 magnitude earthquake has rocked the East coast of the United States, with transport connections across the region disrupted.

The epicentre of the quake was registered was just a few miles from the two-reactor North Anna nuclear power plant in Mineral, Virginia, 80 miles south-west of Washington.

Residents from New England in the north to the Carolinas in the south reported minor damage to buildings and sporadic disruption to telephone services.

There are no reported casualties.

Transportation networks have been affected whilst infrastructure checks are undertaken.

In Mineral, the nuclear plant lost power and automatically halted operations after the quake.

A spokesperson for plant-operator Dominion reported no “major” damage to the facility, where three diesel generators were required to kick in and keep the reactors’ radioactive cores cool.

A fourth diesel unit failed.

In Washington the Pentagon and US Capitol were evacuated, as well as in New York.

The National Cathedral was damaged and the Washington Monument closed.

The quake was one of the most powerful on the east coast of the US since 1897, according to the US Geological survey, matching the strength of a tremor in the state of New York in 1944.

Transport

Flights from John F Kennedy and Newark Airports in New York were delayed while authorities checked for damage from the quake.

Departures from both have now resumed.

Flights out of Reagan National Airport in Washington were also briefly put on hold.

The Amtrak passenger train network slowed its trains in its busy north-eastern routes, and advised passengers to expect delays.