The historic earthquake caused a historic damage as it shook the nation's capital.

While the mess around Washington, D.C. is being cleaned up on Wednesday, the Washington Monument in the heart of the city remained encircled within a black fence - due to a crack caused by Tuesday's 5.8-magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia.

The Washington Monument was among several monuments in D.C. that were shut down for damage assessment after the earthquake, along with the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and the Old Post Office Tower.  

While the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial reopened Tuesday evening, the Washington Monument remained closed and a damage was detected, putting the world's tallest obelisk to an indefinite closure.

The Washington Monument grounds have been reopened except for the plaza and the monument itself. 

According to the National Park Service, Tuesday's earthquake left minor cracks in one of the stones in the pyramid at the top of the 555-foot monument.  

Structural engineers plan to do a secondary inspection on the cracked monument Wednesday and decide how to best repair this highest profile structure to suffer damage.

On the Twittersphere, many blamed the crack in the Washington Monument - and the earthquake - on President Barack Obama.

Some tweets read:

Obama caused earthquake to cover up failure in stopping terrorist plot to destroy the Washington Monument one crack at a time. -@CynickTurtle

Washington Monument closed indefinitely for repair after earthquake, Obama says 'see... job creation' - @NewAmericaNow09

How come Obama broke the Washington Monument but left the MLK memorial standing? Is this a message to the teaparty - @palinsvagina

 

The largest earthquake to hit D.C.

Tuesday's earthquake originated in Mineral, Va., an area between Richmond and Charlottesville, but its impact was felt all along the East Coast. Property damage was reported in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Md.

Buildings in downtown Washington, D.C. were rattled, causing parts of the Pentagon, White House and to evacuate. 

The earthquake is the largest to ever hit the D.C. area, bettering a previous high of 3.6 in that area.

Three of four spires on the National Cathedral suffered damage, as the tremors snapped off stones from the ornate structure. The cathedral is an icon of the Gothic style, and is one of the largest cathedrals in the world.

Similar decorative elements on the cathedral's exterior also appear to be damaged. Cracks have appeared in the flying buttresses around the apse at the cathedral's east end, the first portion of the building to be constructed, but the buttresses supporting the central tower seem to be sound, according to a statement released by the cathedral.

 

@ National Zoo

Animals at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Rock Creek Park area of Washington, D.C., reportedly felt the 5.8 magnitude as well.

The Great Ape House and Think Tank Exhibit were in the middle of feeding time when the quake trickled in from the epicenter of Richmond, Va. and reached parts of Washington, D.C., New York City and Canada.

About five to ten seconds before the quake, many of the apes, including Kyle (an orangutan) and Kojo (a Western lowland gorilla), abandoned their food and climbed to the top of the tree-like structure in the exhibit, zoo officials said.

A gorilla named Mandara also reacted in the same way, grabbing her baby, Kibibi, seconds before the quake and retreating to the tree structure.

The giant pandas, however, were another story. Keepers reported that the furry creatures appeared to be indifferent to the earthquake.

An orangutan named Iris began belch vocalizing before the earthquake.

Red ruffed lemurs let out alarm calls about 15 minutes before and after the earthquake.

The zoo's lion pride all stood still and faced the shaking building in front of them.

Snakes, including copperheads and false water cobras, began writhing during the quake. (Under normal conditions, snakes are inactive during the day).

Beavers were in the middle of a feed when the earthquake hit; the animals stopped eating and got into the nearby water, where they stayed for a period of time. Ducks were also seen jumping into the water.

A flock of 64 flamingos grouped together and remained huddled during the earthquake.

Once the quake was over, female deer began an alarm calling that lasted until a keeper showed up.

More information is available on the Smithsonian National Zoo Web site.