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D.C. Churches Suffer Minor Earthquake Damage

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Tuesday's 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the National Cathedral, but the damage was described as minor.
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Tuesday's 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the National Cathedral, but the damage was described as minor.

Churches in the D.C. area felt the force of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Tuesday, with many reporting falling debris and superficial damage. Most managed to escape without serious problems.

St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church on Capitol Hill was cordoned off with police tape after chunks of concrete and stone were dislodged.

Father William Byrne, a priest from St. Peter's, described the effects of the earthquake that rocked the eastern seaboard as minor.

"I've just arrived back to the parish and it seems that a pedestal from the very top part, not the tower of the bell tower, but the pedestal of the church, seems to have fallen forward onto the front stairs," he said.

Meanwhile, across town in Northwest D.C., the National Cathedral also suffered damage during the quake.

"All of the sudden, everything began shaking at once," said Sam Lloyd, Dean of the National Cathedral.

The historic church, which has long painted the city's skyline, lost three out of the four pinnacles, or top stones, on one of its towers.

"There has been some damage, particularly in the central tower for some of the decorative pieces, and there are some cracks around we are going to be checking out."

While the cosmetic damage is troubling, Lloyd says that so far, there doesn't seem to be any structural damage to the Cathedral.

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