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Did Earthquake Cause Washington Monument To Tilt?

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credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The Washington Monument cracked and crumbled when a 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook the nation’s capital last August. But did it sink or tilt?

That’s what a team of government surveyors is working to find out.

The surveyors started work last week. On Tuesday, they were on the grounds of the 555-foot-tall obelisk, taking measurements from several long-established points known as benchmarks where survey work has been done in the past.

They’re not expecting to find any major changes — perhaps fractions of an inch. But the findings could affect plans for repairing the monument, which has been closed since the quake. Officials expect it to remain closed to visitors until next year.

The monument has sunk about 2 inches into the ground since it was completed in 1884. It sits on land that was once underwater.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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