"At first I thought lots of people were jumping up and down, but then it got stronger. We don't get earthquakes here, so no one was sure what to do, whether to get under the desks or what. After the shaking subsided, I left the building quick. It was scary," said Lori Cuthbert, editor-in-chief of Discovery News.
Several buildings throughout New York City were also evacuated, although no significant damage has been reported.
"In Brooklyn, N.Y., residents poured out of their homes and into the streets in confusion after feeling the floors shake beneath their feet," reported Amanda Onion, managing editor of Discovery News. "Construction workers on busy Fourth Avenue also streamed down from scaffolding to reach more stable ground," she added.
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USGS seismologist Lucy Jones told CNN that the earthquake in Virgina is one of the largest recorded for the state and she expects aftershocks to occur over the next two hours.
"This is one of the largest earthquakes on the East Coast in quite a while, in many decades at least," Jones said. "It's not unprecedented. But it's one of the largest we've had there."