Washington MonumentThe 5.9 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday in Virginia did not cause widespread damage or injury, but it did put a crack in the Washington Monument.

National Park officials closed the 550-foot obelisk and plaza surrounding it indefinitely after discovering a crack at the top of the monument.

The park service also temporarily closed the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial, pending further inspection. Other landmarks, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, set to be officially unveiled this weekend if Hurricane Irene does not interfere, remain open.

 The Smithsonian museum complex also remains closed as officials survey for damage.

Also closed to visitors is the Washington National Cathedral, which had “significant damage,” according to information on its website.

Corner spires on the central tower fell off and cracks have appeared in several of the flying buttresses. There was no damage to the cathedral’s stained-glass windows.

Visitors are advised to check websites and Facebook pages for reopening information.

All air and rail travel have resumed normal operations, following slowdowns to check for damage following Tuesday’s quake.


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