UPDATE 2:31 p.m. ET

Sitting in a Manhattan office a few moments ago, the building began to shake and tremble. I was just finishing lunch, downing an almondine pastry from the Financier across the street.

On the fifth floor of a downtown office building the computer screen began to shake. I looked at the wall behind me, and it was shaking too. I grabbed my chair, but it rolled like a bowl of jelly, with me in it. I turned to a co-worker to ask if someone had spiked my coffee.

Either somebody did, or we just experienced an earthquake, I said.

It was an earthquake, said someone sitting next to me. But I had already figured that out.

Last November, New York experienced an earthquake of a 3.9 earthquake. But I wasn't here then. The last earthquake I experienced was 40 years ago as a child, in Mississippi. It felt the same strange way, like I was sitting in a bowl of jelly.

On this day, the building didn't fall. Nor did any around me that I know of. But as soon as I turned to co-workers to ask if that was an earthquake, another beside read off reports of an earthquake in Washington, D.C. circulating on Twitter. Well you can tweet this one out: we just experienced an earthquake in New York.

They say the earthquake was centered near D.C., and activity has been expanding up the Eastern seaboard, beating Hurricane Irene to the punch.

It's not unusual to have an earthquake in New York. The area has as many as six per year, according to one expert. It's too early to know yet the magnitude of the one felt Tuesday, but as I am writing this an announcement is coming over the loudspeaker. He is saying there is no apparent damage in the building.

But one quick report suggested the New York earthquake I just experienced registered at 5.8 on the scale. That is unconfirmed, but by the time I finish my pasty and this story, perhaps I'll have an update. So far so good, just another day at the office in New York.

Thirty minutes after the earthquake struck New York and our server briefly went down with such a rush of Web traffic to our stories, I walked outside to find many New Yorkers were leaving the tall buildings to head home, perhaps in case of another shake.

The New York Stock Exchange is still functioning, but we are now digging through reports of damage including downed phone lines and resutling quake chaos in Washington.