Washington Monument external earthquake inspection complete

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For days, inspectors dangling from ropes pored over the weathered marble of the Washington Monument, gently “sounding” the stone with mallets, like doctors checking an elderly patient. They studied every block — each of which is numbered — for damage from the Aug. 23 earthquake that rattled the East Coast. On Wednesday morning, they finished the examination. Initial diagnosis: substantial cracks here and there, with minor displaced stone. Overall, the usual aches and pains of a 127-year-old who has just come through an earthquake.

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