5.9 Earthquake hits Georgetown; campus buildings evacuated
UPDATE 4:15 – A university email confirms that all residence halls are now open and that “it is now safe for [students] to return to and remain in campus residence halls, townhouses, and apartments.” Leo’s will be open, although most other university buildings will remain closed.
UPDATE 4:00 – A DPS officer from the main office states that all dorm buildings should be “open for move in” and that students cleared for early move-in today should be able to continue to bring belongings inside. The officer also noted that all on-campus evacuation proceedings are being coordinated by DPS.
UPDATE 3:27PM – University alert states “GU closed. Occupants now permitted to enter buildings for the sole purpose of retrieving personal belongings. Monitor email for further information.” There are overheard reports of a gas leak in Leavey, with facilities investigating. Mass evacuation of cars in Leavey is currently resulting in a large traffic jam.
Original Post: At approximately 1:50PM this afternoon, a magnitude 5.9 Earthquake struck Mineral, Virginia, some 80 miles southwest of DC.
All campus buildings appear to be evacuated and persons on-campus are ostensibly being directed towards the football field, although it appears that less than a hundred people actually congregated onto the field. Students evacuated from buildings report shaking, rumbling noises and brief power flickers.
Based on interviews with evacuated persons, it appears that most buildings were manually evacuated by security. It does not appear that alarms were used to evacuate Harbin, New South, Village C, or the Leavey Center. It is unknown whether alarms were tripped in any other buildings. The University’s text alert was not sent until 2:32, more than half an hour after the initial shock.
At this time, it is unclear who is coordinating the University response, although DPS officers are out in force. A Residence Assistant in front of Hariri declined to comment, simply stating that a “collaborative emergency response” was in charge of evacuations and that standing instructions were to direct persons downhill towards the football field.
Reporting by Ryan Bellmore, Sam Buckley, and John Flanagan