A District of Columbia fire department spokesman said there are numerous injuries as a result of an earthquake that struck near the nation's capital Tuesday afternoon, but so far there are no reports of serious injuries or deaths.

DC Fire and EMS spokesman Pete Piringer says numerous buildings have been damaged, including the Ecuadorian embassy and a handful of schools.

Piringer said thousands of people are milling about downtown after evacuating their buildings, and that a building has not sustained structural damage, the safest thing to do is to shelter in place.

  • East Coast Earthquake
    Workers evacuate the New York State Supreme Courthouse in New York after an earthquake strikes the East Coast Photo: REUTERS
  • East Coast Earthquake
    Employees of Inter-American Development Bank gather around in the median of New York Avenue Photo: REUTERS

While, Union Station was also evacuated, but later reopened.

Piringer said all city fire trucks and ambulances have been deployed.

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Those that aren't responding to calls are driving around and looking for structural damage, injured people and other emergencies.

(Associated Press-WASHINGTON, D.C.)