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National Cathedral Damaged in Quake: ‘They Kept Telling Us Run, Get Away!\

"the entire walls started to move"

A photo of the damaged cathedral. The spire on the rite side has broken off. (Photo: Blaze's Madeleine Morgenstern)

The East Coast earthquake has not claimed any lives as of yet, but it has taken its toll on a prominent Washington, D.C. building. As the Washington Post first reported, the National Cathedral has suffered damage as a result of the quake:

The tip of the National Cathedral in Washington spire crashed onto the steps on Pilgrim Road. Three of the four pinnacles of the central tower are down and there’s significant damage, said spokesman Richard Weinberg. No injuries were reported.

Joan Lindsey of Leesburg, Va., was visiting the cathedral with her husband and was inside when the quake struck.

"We were down in the lower level, the entire walls started to move, the walls were gyrating, bookcases rattling and almost tipped," she told The Blaze.

Things were falling from the ceiling, she said, estimating there were about 30 people in the cathedral with them.

"My fear was, we're down in the bottom, we didn't know how to get out. Someone directed us outside and said get away from the building. There were big chunks of limestone that fell off [as we got outside]," she said.

She saw five or six pieces coming down around her as they evacuated, one landing less than a foot away. Most were about the size of a baseball, though one was almost 12 inches in length.

"They kept telling us run, get away!" she said

Karen Berry works at the cathedral as an administrative assistant in the facilities department. She told The Blaze she knew right away that it was an earthquake and ran out of the administrative building, which is connected to the main site.

"I saw the towers sway and saw a piece of the cathedral fall to the ground. It was shaking terribly, I've never felt anything like that before," she said.

Craig Stapert, associate director for online strategy and operating as a spokesman for the cathedral, told The Blaze they still don't know the extent of the damage. For now, he confirmed the top finial -- as seen in the first Blaze photo from the scene -- is missing. He also said there are cracks around the building and that their stone mason has been out to survey. An architect and structural engineer will perform their own assessments tomorrow.

The Washington National Cathedral is an Episcopal Church landmark in the capital. Located in the northwest quadrant of the city near foreign embassies and the vice president's residence, the Gothic-like structure is among the tallest in the city. It's historically been the site of funerals and memorials for presidents and statesmen.

This is a breaking story. Updates will be added. The Blaze's Madeleine Morgenstern contributed to this report from D.C.

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