A rare powerful earthquake has jolted the east coast of the U.S. from the Carolinas all the way to Boston.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported that the magnitude-5.9 earthquake hit at 1:51 p.m. (EDT) was centered in central Virginia, northwest of Richmond.

There are no immediate accounts of any major structural damage nor any injuries.

However, the tremor caused many rattled nerves among millions of people.

In addition, mobile phones were blocked in many areas because the networks were overloaded, similar to what happened following the 9/11 attacks.

Some recent developments:

In New York City, City Hall and the federal courthouse were evacuated.

City Hall in Newark, N.J., was evacuated just before 2 p.m., as the building shook.

The quake jammed the emergency phone lines in South Brunswick, N.J. The 911 line is flooding with calls right now, a police official told a local paper People want to know what happened. They want to know if there was an explosion.

Landline service is apparently down in the Washington DC-Baltimore area.

Phone circuits in the D.C. and Maryland area are flooded, making calls into or out of the area difficult.