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Brookline high-rises temporarily evacuated after earthquake

Posted by Brock Parker  August 23, 2011 02:34 PM

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Authorities have re-opened three Brookline high-rises that were temporarily evacuated to check for damage caused by an earthquake.

No injuries were reported, but some workers fled an 8-story medical building at 1101 Beacon St. immediately after the earthquake that occurred just before 2 p.m. in Virginia and was felt in the Boston area.

“We were out; We left right away,” said Robin Showstack, of Watertown, who works as a practice assistant in a fourth floor medical office in 1101 Beacon St. “It was a little scary.”

Jerrica Reyes, a medical assistant from Cambridge who was working on the fourth floor of the building, said she was eating lunch when her chair and the table she was sitting at shook. She also left the building immediately.

Brookline Firefighters evacuated the entire medical building, the neighboring residential building at 1111 Beacon Street and a medical office building at 1180 Beacon St. because of reports of damage possibly caused by the earthquake.

Brookline Deputy Fire Chief Rob Ward said a previously existing crack in a basement wall at 1180 Beacon Street had been lengthened to 9 feet from the earthquake, but a structural engineer said it was safe and the building was reopened. Ward said the crack had first been caused by an earthquake in June of last year, which struck in Ontario-Quebec and was felt in Brookline.

Ward said engineers also determined that cracks in the basements of 1101 and 1111 Beacon Street were old and the buildings were safe.

While dozens of people waited outside of 1101 Beacon St. for the building to be instructed Tuesday, one doctor began seeing her patients on the sidewalk. The building was reopened to doctors and patients around 4 p.m.

--brock.globe@gmail.com


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