National Cathedral sustains significant damage in earthquake

The Washington National Cathedral sustained significant damage in the earthquake that hit D.C. on Tuesday afternoon.

Damage included arch displacement, cracking, falling limestone and rotating pinnacles on the Cathedral's neogothic towers.

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National Cathedral Head Mason Joe Alonso estimated a piece weighing about 3,000 pounds toppled from the central tower. He called the damage to that section of the cathedral "mind-boggling."

A link to video of Alonso detailing the damage was tweeted by the National Cathedral on Wednesday morning.

"A lot of what fell, we're fortunate that it fell in toward the roof and not out toward the streets," Alonso said in the video.

National Cathedral staff tweeted out information about damage sustained by the historic building on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning following the 5.8-magnitude earthquake felt across a large portion of the East Coast on Tuesday afternoon.


One of the first questions answered through Twitter likely brought a sigh of relief to fans of the sci-fi trilogy Star Wars. "We've checked, and Darth Vader appears to be okay," staff tweeted.

The Star Wars villain is one of the many gargoyles included on the northwest tower of the Cathedral.

The National Cathedral is the fourth tallest structure in Washington, D.C. Its foundation was laid in 1907. 


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