The 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook pictures off the walls of Congressional offices, caused minor damage at the Washington Monument and toppled pinnacles from the top of the National Cathedral.
In the first two hours after Tuesday afternoon's earthquake, District fire and rescue officials received nearly 2,000 calls. The average is 450 calls in a 24-hour period, said fire department spokesman Pete Piringer. There was no reports of major damage or injuries from the temblor.
Three pinnacles on the National Cathedral's central tower -- the highest point in Washington -- broke off and fell, said spokesman Richard Weinberg. No one was injured, but the building was evacuated and closed for the day. Stone masons were still evaluating the extent of the damage Tuesday evening.
The Washington Monument suffered minor damage and has been closed indefinitely while crews inspect the landmark, said U.S. Park Police spokesman David Schlosser.
A police helicopter was being used to fly park service crews to assess the monument. He said the quake might have knocked mortar or small stones loose.
But Schlosser debunked reports that the monument was leaning.
Tourists were in the monument during the earthquake, he said. No one was hurt and they were able to take the elevator down.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority reported that a terminal at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport had been evacuated due to the smell of gas, but later said no gas leak or major structural damage was found.