Residents and office workers — and even pigeons — in Brooklyn were rattled by the Tuesday’s 5.9-magnitude earthquake, which was centered in Louisa, Virginia and was felt up and down the East Coast around 1:50 p.m.
Many Downtown Brooklyn government and private office buildings were evacuated, at least temporarily, and people at Coney Island and Brighton Beach started running from the water to the shore.
Brooklyn didn’t suffer much serious building damage, fire or utility outages, however. That was the word from Chris Gilbride, press representative of the Office of Emergency Management in Downtown Brooklyn. Representatives of several of the borough’s community boards, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the MetroTech BID and the Fire Department concurred. There were reports of some minor damage, including to a chimney in Red Hook.
Some people reported items shaking on their tables and shelves and their furniture moving. So many people made cell phone calls that Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint reported congested circuits.
At the construction site at 20 Henry St. in Brooklyn Heights, steam fitter John Pabon was working on the third floor when he felt the shaking. “The whole building was swaying,” he told the Brooklyn Eagle. “Everybody evacuated.”
The roughly two dozen construction workers ran downstairs and gathered on the sidewalk across Henry Street. Steamfitter Pete P. said the workers were going home for the day. “They’re going to have an engineer check the building,” he said.