Park Service finds cracks in Washington Monument

An inspection by the National Park Service (NPS) detected cracks in the Washington Monument after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook Washington on Tuesday afternoon.

The NPS announced late Tuesday that the Washington Monument and Jefferson and Lincoln memorials would be temporarily closed.

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A post-earthquake inspection found cracks at the “very top” of the Washington Monument, NPS spokesman Bill Line said, as reported by The Washington Post.  It “could be closed for an indefinite period of time,” he added.

On its website, the Park Service said it was “evaluating the structures to ensure that they are structurally sound and safe for all visitors. ... The NPS will continue to inspect the interior of the Monument before any decisions are made about reopening it to the public.”

Tuesday’s earthquake, which was centered 87 miles south of Washington near Mineral, Va., caused the evacuation of government buildings, cellphone service outages, traffic gridlock and delays in public transportation. Shockwaves were felt along much of the Eastern Seaboard.

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