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Earthquake leaves crack in Washington


Lauren Halbeisen

Staff writer

The Washington Monument is known as one of the most historical sites in Washington, D.C. Because it is one of the major attractions, it’s no wonder that when a four-foot crack in the uppermost section happens, the world stops and stares.

The Washington Monument was built between 1848 and 1884 as a tribute to George Washington’s military leadership from 1775 to 1783 during the American Revolution. Towering at 555 feet and 5 1/8in, it is the tallest stone structure in the world. It is composed of white marble and several other kinds of rock.

On Wednesday August 27th 2011 a 5.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the eastern sea board from Georgia to Ontario, Canada. Because of the earthquake, the Washington Monument now has a four foot crack in the uppermost part of the monument. It is invisible to the naked eye when looking from the ground up, but in the air the crack in the obelisk structure is clear as day.

On Wednesday the monument shut down along with the Washington North Cathedral and the Smithsonian Institution Building because of the earthquake. National Park Service spokesperson Bill Line said, “A structural engineering team is collecting data and inspecting every inch of the obelisk”.  Some find it daunting that a strong structure such as the National Monument could be affected by this less than thirty second earthquake.