An earthquake struck Virginia a little before 2 p.m., shaking houses in the D.C. suburbs and downtown and reportedly prompting the evacuation of some government buildings. FCC officers were not responding at press time.
According to the USGS, the quake was a 5.9 on the Richter Scale and centered Northwest of Richmond, Va.
CNN was reporting that President Barack Obama could feel it as far away as Martha's Vineyard, where he is vacationing.
New York City officials were also reporting the quake in the Big Apple environs.
"Now we know what residents of California feel like" said an anchor on WUSA Washington, which like all D.C. stations dropped regular programming to cover the quake.
Most stations were reporting the quake as a 5.8, but the USGS revised it to a 5.9.
The quake could give Washington policymakers a first-hand account of how emergency communications, like cell phone service, operate during an emergency.