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Washington Monument Earthquake Damage Worse Than First Thought (PHOTOS)

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 08/26/11 01:14 AM ET   Updated: 10/25/11 06:12 AM ET

Shortly after the rare 5.8 earthquake in Virginia rattled Washington D.C. Tuesday, a Park Service spokesman said there was "absolutely no damage" to the Washington Monument.

A more thorough assessment discovered a crack in the landmark. Not long after, additional damage was found, including three or four "significant" cracks.

The monument has been closed indefinitely for further inspection and repairs, which will take at least a few weeks, according to The Washington Times.

Robert Vogel, superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial, said in a statement: “The Washington Monument is one of America’s most important landmarks, and we will do whatever it takes to ensure that it is restored completely and correctly."

The monument was not the only structure affected. The National Cathedral sustained damage worth an estimated millions in repairs.

Washington Monument Earthquake Damage
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This image released by the National Park Service shows a crack on the west side near the pyramid top of the Washington Monument Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011, after a 5.8 magnitude struck the Washington area on Aug. 23. (AP Photo/U.S. Park Police Aviation Unit)
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