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  • Aug. 23, 2011 Earthquake

    In this Aug. 23, 2011 file photo, office workers gather on the sidewalk in downtown Washington moments after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Aug. 23, 2011, Earthquake

    Police block off the alley behind the Embassy of Ecuador in D.C.'s Columbia Heights neighborhood after part of the building sustained damages following the Aug. 23, 2011 earthquake. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • National Cathedral Damage

    Light from stained glass windows shines onto safety nets that were installed along the ceiling of the nave at the National Cathedral on Sept. 1, 2011, as a precautionary measure after parts of the structure was damaged in the Aug. 23, 2011, earthquake. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

  • National Cathedral Damage

    One of the spires of the National Cathedral was heavily damaged during the Aug., 23, 2011, earthquake. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Traffic Gridlock Following Quake

    Drivers climb out of their cars to survey a traffic jam on 14th Street NW near the Ronald Reagan Building after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake rattled the East Coast on Aug. 23, 2011. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • 5.8 Earthquake Hits East Coast

    WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 23: A driver climbs out of his cars to survey a traffic jam on 14th Street NW near the Ronald Reagan Building after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake rattled the East Coast August 23, 2011 in Washington, United States. The quake, centered near Miner, Virginia, rattled states from Maine to North Carolina but produced no serious injuries or damage. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Aug. 23, 2011, Earthquake

    People crowd Pennsylvania Avenue near Freedom Plaza, on Aug. 23, 2011, as they evacuate buildings after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. (Photo by Charles Dharapak/AP)

  • Aug. 23, 2011, Earthquake

    Cars are gridlocked on L Street NW in downtown Washington on Aug. 23, 2011, following a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

  • Aug. 23, 2011, Earthquake

    People stand on in the intersection of H Street NW and New York Avenue near the White House in Washington, on Aug. 23, 2011 after evacuating from buildings following a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the Washington area. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Aug. 23, 2011

    People stand at 18th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue near the World Bank on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, after office buildings where evacuated following an earthquake in the Washington area. The 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., shook much of Washington, D.C., and was felt as far north as Rhode Island and New York City. (Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

  • National Cathedral Damage

    The central tower of the Washington National Cathedral is shrouded in fog as a worker secures a beam on the of the southwest grand pinnacle, in Washington, on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011. The Cathedral's central tower pinnacles were damaged by the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that struck the East Coast on August 23. The damaged portions of pinnacles are being removed to make the pinnacles and central tower stable until the stonework can be repaired and put back in place. (AP Photo/Nikki Kahn, Pool)

  • Union Station

    Earthquake repairs in Union Station's Main Hall, as seen in December 2011.

  • Union Station

    Earthquake repairs in Union Station's Main Hall, as seen in December 2011.

  • Union Station

    Earthquake repairs in Union Station's Main Hall, as seen in December 2011.

  • Union Station

    Earthquake repairs in Union Station's Main Hall, as seen in December 2011.

  • Union Station

    Earthquake repairs in Union Station's Main Hall, as seen in December 2011.

  • Washington Monument Damage

    In this March 13, 2012, file photo, David Doyle, Chief Geodetic Surveyor with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Geodetic Survey, turns a steel rod at the base of the Washington Monument used for surveying, in Washington. Government surveyors, in a report issued Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012, have found that the Washington Monument did not sink further into the ground as a result of last year's 5.8-magnitude earthquake. The upper portion of the monument sustained several large cracks during the August 2011 quake, and it likely will be closed for repairs until 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

  • Washington Monument Damage

    In this Sept. 29, 2011 file photo, Dan Lemieux, manager of the Washington Monument inspection project, holds a loose chunk of marble off the monument damaged by an earthquake. Repairs to the Washington Monument will require massive scaffolding to be built around the 555-foot obelisk and may keep it closed until 2014 after it was damaged by an earthquake last year. (AP Photo/Ben Nuckols, File)

  • Washington Monument Damage

    A team of engineers, from left, Dan Gach, Emma Cardini, center, and Katie Francis, harnessed to ropes , inspect the exterior of the Washington Monument for damage caused by last month's earthquake, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011, in Washington. (Photo by Evan Vucci/AP)

  • Washington Monument Damage

    Emma Cardini, a civil engineer from Melrose, Mass., right, and a member of the difficult access team, dangles by a rope more than 500 feet above ground, with a co-worker Daniel Gach, as they inspect the exterior of the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. (Photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

  • National Cathedral Damage

    A girl looks earthquake-damaged pinnacles at the National Cathedral on March 24, 2012. Tourists toured the cathedral's central tower for the first time since the 5.8 neartquake hit the U.S. capital on August 23, 2011. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

  • National Cathedral Damage

    The earthquake-damaged tower of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., is seen from the central tower on March 24, 2012. The cathedral opened the central tower to tourist for the first time since the August 23, 2011 earthquake. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

  • National Cathedral Damage

    Emma Cardini, a member of the Difficult Access Team from Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, inspects a gargoyle while rapelling down one of the north tower on the west front of the National Cathedral while looking for damage from the Aug. 23, 2011, 5.8 magnitude earthquake on October 17, 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • National Cathedral Damage

    National Cathedral Head Stone Mason Joe Alonso points to some of the damage the catheral sustained during the Aug. 23, 2011, 5.8-magnitude earthquake. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Washington Monument Damage

    Engineers suspended by ropes conduct a block-by-block inspection of the Washington Monument exterior in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 3, 2011. (Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Washington Monument Damage

    An engineer of a Difficult Access Team with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates removes lose stones from the Washington Monument on Oct. 3, 2011. The DAT team continued the inspection of the monument to find whether there were more damages caused by the 5.8-magnitude earthquake on Aug. 23, 2011. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • Virginia Earthquake Damage

    Morgan Nolan, center, joins other volunteers as they help to restock the shelves at Millers Market after the store was damaged by the Aug. 23, 2011, 5.8 earthquake in Mineral, Va. The epicenter of the quake, the East Coast's largest since 1944, was located a few miles outside of Mineral, a town of 430 people located about 50 miles west of Richmond. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • Virginia Earthquake Damage

    A sign on the door lets customers know the Four Seasons Fitness club was closed after the building was damged by the Aug. 23, 2011, 5.8 earthquake in Mineral, Va. The epicenter of the quake, the East Coast's largest since 1944, was located a few miles outside of Mineral, a town of 430 people located about 50 miles west of Richmond. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • Virginia Earthquake Damage

    The chimneys and a portion of the wall are heavily damged on a landmark home in an area known as Cuckoo following the Aug. 23, 2011, 5.8 earthquake near Mineral, Va. The epicenter of the quake, the East Coast's largest since 1944, was located a few miles outside of Mineral, a town of 430 people located about 50 miles west of Richmond. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • Virginia Earthquake Damage

    Workers begin repairs on the City Hall building, which is also the local DMV office, after the building was damged by the Aug. 23, 2011, 5.8 earthquake in Mineral, Va. The epicenter of the quake, the East Coast's largest since 1944, was located a few miles outside of Mineral, a town of 430 people located about 50 miles west of Richmond. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • Washington Monument Damage

    Engineers begin the process of conducting a block-by-block inspection of the exterior of the Washington Monument while suspended by ropes on Sept. 28, 2011. The National Park Service closed the landmark in the nation's capital indefinitely due to damage caused by the Aug. 23, 2011, 5.8 magnitude earthquake. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • National Cathedral Damage

    Against a foggy backdrop, from left, head stone mason Joe Alonso, Andy Uhl and Dave McAllister help guide the damaged upper portions of the southeast grand pinnacle as it is hoisted by a crane from atop the central tower of the Washington National Cathedral, in Washington, on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011. The Cathedral's central tower pinnacles were damaged by the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that struck the East Coast on Aug. 23, 2011. The damaged portions of pinnacles are being removed to make the pinnacles and central tower stable until the stonework can be repaired and put back in place. (AP Photo/Nikki Kahn, Pool)

WASHINGTON -- Since its founding more than 200 years ago, the nation's capital had never experienced an earthquake as intense as last year's 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered roughly 85 miles away in Virginia's Louisa County.

But the quake, which hit a year ago Thursday and was felt up and down the East Coast, was a startling wake-up call that the D.C. area isn't immune from seismic activity.

The earthquake triggered a mass exodus from downtown office buildings. Roads across the region were clogged. Metrorail ran at a snail's pace as a precaution. The Capitol was evacuated and the Senate met in a pro forma session in the Postal Square Building adjacent to Union Station -- the first time senators officially convened outside their legislative home since the British burned the Capitol nearly 200 years ago.

There were no deaths, fortunately, and damage was limited in the District of Columbia and its suburbs in Maryland and Virginia. But some of the city's best-known landmarks, including the Washington Monument and National Cathedral, sustained major damage. Cracked plaster fell from Union Station's vaulted Main Hall, too, necessitating long-term repairs.

But some lesser-known buildings experienced seismic-related structural problems, too, like Marist and McMahon halls at the Catholic University of America, Sherman Hall at the Armed Forces Retirement Home and Arlington House at Arlington National Cemetery.

Numerous residential chimneys were damaged across the city.

The Washington Monument, once the world's tallest structure, was likely the scariest place in D.C. to be during the earthquake, as this surveillance video documents.

The monument has been closed to the public since the quake to allow damage assessments and repairs. Although the obelisk did not sink, it did sustain exterior and interior damage. Scaffolding will be required to complete repairs to the monument, which is expected to remained closed until 2014.

Stonework at the Washington National Cathedral, including pinnacles on the grand building's towers, flying buttresses and gargoyles, sustained damage. Two tons of damaged stonework were removed following the quake.

The cathedral continues fundraising for the repairs, which are expected to take a decade and cost upwards of $20 million.

Damage was more serious closer to the epicenter in central Virginia.

As the Fairfax Times reports:

More than 6,400 homeowners and renters in nine counties and cities received nearly $16.5 million in recovery assistance from [Federal Emergency Management Agency] to help with their personal losses due to the earthquake. Governor [Bob] McDonnell noted, "While precious family items filled with memories can never be replaced, rebuilding of homes is critical to recovery and the ability to heal from a disaster."

Virginia state agencies and local governments received more than $31 million in FEMA assistance to help repair buildings and infrastructure. Louisa County schools received $28 million for repairs. Nearly all the county schools were damaged by the quake with two, Thomas Jefferson Elementary and Louisa County High School, having to close permanently. The earthquake caused a total of $61 million in damages to Louisa County schools.

Read McDonnell's statement on the one-year anniversary of the quake here.

Earlier on HuffPost: Video of the Quake Inside The Washington Monument