East Coast Earthquake News Coverage Interrupts Programming

Xinhua/Fan Xia/Newscom

NBC, ABC and CBS broke in with coverage of the 5.9 magnitude quake that hit Virginia, while cable news networks dispatched reports from locations that have been affected.

NBC, ABC and CBS all interrupted regular programming Tuesday to report on the earthquake that hit the East Coast.

The 5.9 quake was centered in Northern Virginia and felt throughout the region in cities like Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York.

PHOTOS: Earthquake on East Coast: Scene from New York and D.C.

The earthquake is the biggest domestic story of the day on news sites, second only to the coverage of unrest in Libya.

CNN dispatched reporters to various locations including the New York Stock Exchange, where business correspondent Alison Kosik reported that traders felt the shaking and shouted at each other to "keep trading!"

MSNBC reports that all memorials and monuments on the National Mall were evacuated and closed.

Quake coverage now dominates Fox News.com, which is reporting that U.S. aviation authorities have evacuated control towers at JFK and Newark airports. LaGuardia remains open is and operating normally.

A Univision spokeswoman told The Hollywood Reporter that the Spanish language company’s network has also done several news briefs with updates after the earthquake.

Coincidentally, Metro New York reported earlier this year that scientists at Columbia University's Lamont-Dohery Earth Observatory had predicted that the city was overdue for an earthquake,"The last big quake to hit New York City was a 5.3-magnitude tremor in 1884 that happened at sea in between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook. While no one was killed, buildings were damaged."

Seismologist Won-Young Kim told the publication,"It can happen anytime soon." If it happened tomorrow, he added, “I would not be surprised. We can expect it any minute, we just don’t know when and where.”

Other fallout from the earthquake included the evacuation of Discovery Communications headquarters in Silver Spring, MD. "We evacuated and sent everyone home for the day," a Discovery Communications spokeswoman told THR.

The cable networks juggernaut employs 1,500 there. "No reports yet of any damage or injuries," she added.