August 23, 2011 / 6:25 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Quake felt in New York City office buildings

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NEW YORK, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Tremors shook New York City office buildings on Tuesday, prompting evacuations of courthouses, City Hall and halting work at the World Trade Center construction site, officials and witnesses said.

It was not immediately clear if there was any damage or injuries in the city, but fire department and police officials in Dutchess County, New York, reported structural damage to some buildings.

Trade went uninterrupted on the New York Stock Exchange, the NYSE said.

A spokesman for the city transit agency said the quake was felt but declined immediate comment on whether the subway system was affected.

Control towers at John F. Kennedy airport and Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey were also evacuated.

Christina Summers, a young mother who lives in New York City’s Greenwich Village, said she thought the shaking was caused by construction in a neighboring apartment.

“Holy cow! My couch was wiggling like those beds you put a quarter in,” Summers said.

People working in skyscrapers in Manhattan, including the United Nations headquarters, said they felt their buildings sway at about 1:52 p.m. on Tuesday.

The tremors struck as Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance had just started a news conference to explain why his office had decided to drop criminal sexual assault charges against former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The news conference was halted and state and federal buildings in lower Manhattan were evacuated as a precaution. (Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Grant McCool)

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