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Inside the Washington Monument During D.C. Earthquake: VIDEO

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The National Park Service today released video shot by surveillance cameras inside the Washington Monument as the East Coast earthquake struck on August 23, sending dust and debris plummeting from above. Not somewhere you would want to be.

Watch as frightened tourists head down the stairs, AFTER THE JUMP...

Longer video at the NPS shows several moments of calm before the quake hits.

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Comments

  1. Scary, two minutes seems like an eternity! Too bad the park service personnel took off down the stairs without making sure that people in the monument got out safely, everyone for themselves I guess

    Posted by: Pete | Sep 26, 2011 6:38:37 PM


  2. I live 35 miles west of DC and I remember the quake lasting about 35 seconds or so. This is about 1 1/2 minutes? WOW! Of course I don't live in a 555 foot tower.

    Posted by: Peter | Sep 26, 2011 7:12:52 PM


  3. Pete, I doubt the staff on site were trained on earthquake protocol like they would have been in a more active quake zone like california.

    Growing up as a native Californian, I'm used to what an earthquake feels like, and if i was in a building that started shaking, thats the first thing I'd think of, and id be reassured that not only would it pass in a minute, the building I'm in is probably earthquake hardened. But if i grew up in virginia, had never experienced an earthquake, and accepted the common idea that the east coast doesn't have earthquakes, Id probably assume that something absolutely terrible and catastrophic was happening. An attack, or something. I wouldnt slam the guard. It looks like she motioned the people close to her to start moving, then followed her own advice.

    Posted by: Spudger | Sep 26, 2011 7:51:54 PM


  4. As a southern Californian, I laughed a hearty laugh when I heard about this quake, but this video made it a little more legit. @spudger, I agree.

    Posted by: andypharmer | Sep 26, 2011 8:06:45 PM


  5. Just curious: If the camera was attached to the monument, how did it show so much movement?

    Posted by: Soren456 | Sep 26, 2011 8:13:17 PM


  6. Soren456 -- Just because the building is built out of stone, it doesn't mean it won't flex during an earthquake. There was also damage to the building's masonry, so it is possible that the stones were moving relative to one another. (Note all of the dust and debris that falls through the frame about 21-30 seconds through the video.) Even if the stones weren't moving, the camera probably has a metal mounting bracket, and it would almost certainly flex under the stresses of an earthquake of this magnitude.

    Posted by: MajorTom | Sep 26, 2011 9:31:20 PM


  7. Soren, if youve ever looked at a security cam mount, most of them are designed to be positionable. Shake their base around, and theyll bounce and flex.

    Posted by: Spudger | Sep 26, 2011 10:07:11 PM


  8. What's with the guy who descends the stairs and then runs back up moments later? Is this camera posted at the monument entrance? He decided to flee out into the open? Or was he up on an upper level the entire time?

    Posted by: luminum | Sep 26, 2011 10:11:49 PM



  9. What's with the guy who descends the stairs and then runs back up moments later? Is this camera posted at the monument entrance? He decided to flee out into the open? Or was he up on an upper level the entire time?

    Posted by: luminum | Sep 26, 2011 10:11:49 PM

    I suspect he is a Park Services employee who should be commended.

    Posted by: floria1 | Sep 26, 2011 11:11:05 PM


  10. From the NPS website where the video's from: "The ranger at the top following protocol, guiding visitors to the emergency exit door on the 490 level, which opens inward, and then returning to the 500 level to ensure that all visitors are out."

    Posted by: James | Sep 27, 2011 12:11:55 AM


  11. Haha, I get it-- "After the jump..."

    Posted by: Thunderboltfan | Sep 27, 2011 2:16:16 AM


  12. The real danger zone is the area just outside the structure where blocks might fall on you. Ouch.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 27, 2011 11:29:46 AM


  13. I don't think also that many people realize the height of the Washington Monument. It's 555 feet, that's roughly like a 40 story skyscraper. They were at the top of a 40 story building.,

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 27, 2011 12:15:10 PM


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