N.J. was covering the District Attorney's news conference about dropping the sexual assault charges against the former International Monetary Fund boss when the earth shook. Literally. A 5.9 magnitude quake based in Virginia about 80 miles south of Washington, D.C. And the temblor was felt all the way up to Martha's Vineyard, which is a wide swath of real estate. And that chunk of land includes New York City and the metro area.
Did you feel it? Many did; others did not.
The most damage we could find - 15 elderly residents of a high-rise in Richmond, Virginia were hurt when their building was evacuated after reports of buckled bricks. And a couple of the towers at the National Cathedral in Washington have damage.
There is some minor damage to buildings in our area, which raises the bigger question of just how safe our buildings from earthquake damages. I grew up in Southern California - I've been here nearly two decades - and earthquakes are a way of life there. We bolted our house to the foundation (not sure that really does anything, but it seemed at the time a smart thing to do; it certainly was costly), and we were prepared at all times. That meant that by the bed you keep a flashlight, a pair of shoes and a crowbar, to jimmy open the bedroom door if it shuts and won't open. The rolling waves of motion are both frightening and energizing. And potentially damaging.
We'll have the latest on any damage - and any aftershocks - tonight at 11. Marci Gonzalez will be in D.C. for us for a look at the damage to the National Cathedral.
We'll also have the latest on the Strauss-Kahn decision by the D.A.
What a case - and what a controversy. Prosecutors determining that their witness - the alleged victim, a hotel maid - had too many holes in her story to make her credible on the stand. And we're following the big developments in Libya, where Mohammar Gadhafi appears to be in his final hours of power.
We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg (who did a yeoman's job explaining the science of earthquakes on our air today) with his AccuWeather forecast and the latest on Hurricane Irene's potential path to our area, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11. a