Skip to content

Earthquake hits Washington, D.C. area

August 23, 2011
By Darlene Prickett
Arrow Buff


Message #6 (August 23, 2011 8:40 p.m.)

Gallaudet University residence halls have been inspected by structural engineers and are now open and students are returning to their living quarters.

In the event of another earthquake, or what are known as “aftershocks,” here are some steps to follow:

  • If indoors, seek refuge in a doorway or under a desk or table. Stay away from glass windows, shelves and heavy equipment. Exit the building only after the shaking has stopped.
  • If outdoors, move quickly away from buildings, utility poles, and other structures. Always avoid power or utility lines.
  • If in an automobile, stop in the safest place available, preferably in an open area away from power lines and trees. Stop as quickly as safety permits, but stay in the vehicle for the shelter it offers.
  • After the initial shock, evaluate the situation and if emergency help is necessary, contact DPS at x5555 (Voice/TTY/Videophone) or  Protect yourself at all times and be prepared for aftershocks immediately afterwards.
  • Assist people, especially those with disabilities, to evacuate the building.
  • Once outside, move to a clear area away from buildings, utility poles, or other structures.

Gallaudet University has returned to normal operations. New Student Orientation will continue as planned tomorrow, Wednesday, August 24.


Message #5 (August 23, 2011 6:25 p.m.)

Gallaudet University operations have returned to normal following an earthquake that occurred in the Washington, D.C. area. No injuries were reported. Additional details are as follows and apply to the evening of Tuesday, August 23 unless otherwise noted:

The University main cafeteria will provide food service to students, faculty and staff remaining on campus until 8:00 p.m. The cafeteria will remain open until 9:00 p.m. University residence halls will open at 7:00 p.m.

The Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) cafeteria will remain open until 7:00 p.m. and MSSD residence halls will reopen at 7:00 p.m.

Shuttle bus service will continue until 9:00 p.m. this evening. Normal operating hours will resume tomorrow, Wednesday, August 24.

The Mental Health Center will provide walk-in services tomorrow for students needing additional support. The Center will be open from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. except from 12:00-1:00 p.m. tomorrow Wednesday August 24.

To contact the university directly, please call 877-822-0680 (voice) or 202-448-7205 (voice) or 866-957-7998 (VP).

Message #4 (August 23, 2011 4:39 p.m.)

Gallaudet University closed for the day.

President T. Alan Hurwitz has closed Gallaudet University for the remainder of the day. All non-essential staff, faculty and non-residential students are being sent home.

Minor damage has been reported on several structures. People are asked to use caution and to adhere to caution tape and safety cones. No injuries are reported. For more information, call 877-822-0680 or 202-448-7205.

Students, faculty and staff are asked to report to campus as usual tomorrow Wednesday, August 24. Please check back to this website for further updates.

Message #3 (August 23, 2011 3:33 p.m.)

News reports have confirmed a 6.0 earthquake has occurred in the Washington, D.C., area.

Students, faculty and staff on the Gallaudet campus are being asked to gather at the football field. Non-essential staff are welcome to leave for the day.

Campus structures are being inspected and there are reports of minor damage. People are asked to stay away from structures. No injuries have been reported. Stay tuned for further updates.

Message #2 (August 23, 2011 3:13)

News reports have confirmed a 6.0 earthquake has occurred in the Washington DC area.

Students, Faculty, and Staff on the Gallaudet campus are being asked to gather at the football field. Campus structures are being inspected and there are reports of minor damage. People are being asked to stay away from structures. No injuries have been reported. Stay tuned for further updates.

Gallaudet shuttle can go only as far as M street. Gallaudet shuttle stops remain unchanged.

Message #1 (August 23, 2011 2:49)

There are unfirmed reports that the Washington DC area has experienced a 5.8 earthquake.

Students, Staff, and Faculty on the campus are being asked to gather on the football field. Campus officials are inspecting all structures for damage. Please stay tuned for further updates.

23 August 2011
By Darlene Prickett


Recent Posts

Roberto E. Wirth, E-’74 & H-’09, passed away on June 5 in Rome, Italy. Mr. Wirth was owner and managing director of the Hotel Hassler in Rome, one of the most prestigious family-owned hotels in the world, and owned several other hotels and resorts throughout Italy. He was a strong advocate for deaf people in...

Alumnus Timel Benton has signed a contract with the Bay Area Panthers of the Indoor Football League (IFL). Benton, who graduated last month, is the first Gallaudet Bison to sign a professional football contract since Tony Tatum signed on with the Utah Blaze in the now-disbanded Arena Football League (AFL) in May 2013. Benton was...

James Caverly, ’11, who plays Theo Dimas in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, will play Professor Harold Hill in the Olney Theatre Center’s summer production of Meredith Willson’s Tony-winning musical The Music Man, which opens tonight and runs through July 23. The show’s official opening is on Thursday, June 23. Sandra Mae Frank, ’13,...

About the Author

Darlene Prickett

Recent Posts
Deaf hotelier Roberto Wirth passes away
Alumnus Timel Benton to play professional football
Alumni, faculty featured in The Music Man at Olney Theatre Center
Related Categories
Media Inquiries

For any other media inquiry, please contact:

No media contact found!

Stay up to date on all the Gallaudet happenings, both stories and initiatives we are doing with our Signing community!​

Admissions Requirements

Hearing Undergraduate