NEW YORK CITY—A magnitude 5.8 earthquake that shook parts of the mid-Atlantic U.S. and New England Tuesday afternoon sent workers and residents streaming outdoors. In Lower Manhattan, surrounding the Scientific American office, vehicle traffic quickly came to a standstill—with New York Police Department officers ordering drivers to back their vehicles out of the Holland Tunnel. People streamed out onto the sidewalks and into neighborhood cafes as buildings were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

Officials in Washington, D.C., fewer than 160 kilometers from the quake's epicenter near Mineral, Va., closed all national monuments. And many office buildings in the nation's capital remained closed to business as of Tuesday afternoon.

Most U.S. quakes occur in Alaska and California, but the East Coast is no stranger to temblors, with fault lines running throughout the area. The U.S. Geological Survey, however, had rated the probability of a quake larger than magnitude 5.7 occurring in the Richmond, Va., area in the next 100 years as less than 20 percent.

The Virginia quake followed a rare magnitude 5.3 rattler in southern Colorado.

Here are images from the area near our office, adjacent to an entrance to the Holland Tunnel in Lower Manhattan, taken within 10 minutes of the Virginia quake. Did you document the event? Share your photos, videos and accounts at or post them to our Facebook wall.

» View slide show of scenes after the East Coast earthquake.