Dispatches: Earthquake Shakes Up the Capital

Fox News' reporters and producers file updates on the scene in the capital after a magnitude 5.8 quake shook the region Tuesday.

5:30 -- From U.S. Capitol PoliceThe Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) has been inspected by the AOC structural engineers and is ready for re-entry. Persons with offices in the CVC will be permitted entry to retrieve personal items and to secure their workspaces. Building inspectors are continuing to work and your cooperation is requested to limit time in the building to an absolute minimum.     The next priority for inspection is underground garages on the House and Senate sides. Once a garage has been cleared for access you will be allowed in through the respective garage entrances to retrieve your vehicle. You will not be able to access connected buildings at that time, only the garage.     It is anticipated that tomorrow will be a regular business day.     Additional updates will be issued as information becomes available. --Chad Pergram

5:05 -- I am told the following by Secretary of Senate's office regarding relocation of its pro forma session...

On 9/11, when the Capitol was evacuated, we adjourned outside. That was not an official proceeding, of course.The ceremonial visit by congress to NYC after 9/11 was a "meeting," not a formal session.Still trying to find a historical precedent for the pro forma.--Trish Turner

5:00 -- USCP will re-open the Capitol for those who work there, but the structural engineers say they will continue to inspect.Here is the message sent to Capitol personnel:The Capitol Building has been inspected by the AOC structural engineers and is ready for re-entry.  Persons with offices in the Capitol Building will be permitted entry to retrieve personal items and to secure their workspaces.  Building inspectors are continuing to work and your cooperation is requested to limit time in the building to an absolute minimum.    The next priority for inspection is underground garages on the House and Senate sides.  Once a garage has been cleared for access you will be allowed in through the respective garage entrances to retrieve your vehicle.  You will not be able to access connected buildings at that time, only the garage.    It is anticipated that tomorrow will be a regular business day.    Additional updates will be issued as information becomes available.

--Chad Pergram

4:09 -- Fox has learned that House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) was at the Capitol working in his office that overlooks the west front and down the National Mall when the quake hit.Hoyer appears to be the only member of the House leadership that was here today.His security detail then evacuated Hoyer and he then checked on his staff to make sure they were okay.--Chad Pergram

3:55 -- White House construction workers being allowed onto grounds to get their vehicles and go home. Everything very calm/tourists around WH. Construction at WH is below ground so clearly extra precautions being taken.--Kelly Chernenkoff

3:35 -- U.S. Capitol Police continue to keep most people a long way away from the Capitol Complex buildings. Many people continue to mass outside the buildings because aides and other Congressional personnel cannot get to their cars, which are in underground garages near by the buildings. The U.S. Capitol Police and AOC are continuing to investigate all Congressional Buildings for structural defects following the earthquake.

Evacuation sirens continue to sound from the buildings.

--Chad Pergram

3:18 -- As we know, the president is in Martha's Vineyard but here is some intel on WH evacuation per Secret Service:

"As a precautionary measure the White House and adjacent secured buildings (Treasury and EEOB) were evacuated, with the exception of essential personnel. All buildings have been cleared for re-entry and are currently fully operational. We will continue to monitor this situation. We will not comment on any protectee evacuations or movements."

Edwin M. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, Office of Government and Public Affairs

-- Kelly Chernenkoff

3:17 -- Announcement blaring from PA system: The uscp headquarters bldg is now safe for reentry. The bldg is now open to all personnel.

-- John Brandt

2:21 -- Sen Chris Coons, D-Del, was here to open the Senate for its pro forma session. They're working on altering the schedule now. Coons says he was outside walking up to the Capitol - prepping for an interview on MSNBC.  He said he felt the ground shake, and so he sat down on a bench "to make sure it wasn't me."

The Majority and Minority Leader are currently speaking by phone to try to make a change in the pro forma schedule for later today, this according to Coons.

-- Trish Turner

2:09 p.m. -- Eartquake was felt in our chairs well inside the building.  We shook in our chairs- my chair rolled under me.  This building made of reinforced concrete and things were falling off shelves.  People panicked and ran for exits fearing 911 style attack.  Some workers here were heard saying it felt just like 911.  Black Suburban vehicles raced to River entrance to ecacuate VIPs.  Panetta in California.  Marine helos flying above.

-- Justin Fishel

2:02 p.m. -- Capitol rumbling seemed to come in 2 waves. Shook first for about 5 seconds. Then intensified...shaking the entire Capitol. Longest shake was probably close to 30 seconds.

Chandliers swinging in Capitol. Some small art off walls.

-- Chad Pergram