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THE ROLLING QUAKE hit about 1055 am and sent people pouring out of Seattle City Hall and from skyscrapers throughout the city as it continued for nearly 30 seconds before subsiding Windows shattered in some buildings and debris and bricks loosened from buildings cascaded onto sidewalks and some city streets Frightened residents said they could hear metal grinding as the citys famed Space Needle rocked to-and-fro though the buildings owner later said it apparently came through the quake unscathed Seattles Haborview Medical Center reported treating at least 29 people for quake-related injuries four of whom were in critical condition It said the injuries ranged from crushing injuries to burns and cardiac failure The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was closed and the tower and other offices were evacuated Federal Aviation Administration spokesman William Shumann said The FAA ordered a national ground stop for Seattle which meant no flights to the Northwests largest city were being allowed to take off anywhere in the country The center handling air traffic in Washington and Oregon near Auburn Wash was operating on backup power Federal emergency teams were mobilized in Washington state and President Bush traveling in Iowa said the government was staying on top of it In Seattle fire crews responded to more than 30 emergency calls One of the potentially more dangerous situations involved a warehouse full of highly flammable carpets in south Seattle where flames could be seen burning through the roof of the building Gas leaks were reported at several downtown buildings At a news conference Seattle Mayor Paul Schell said an initial assessment indicated that damage was widespread but not severe I think we have weathered it he said It looks so far as if everything is working but it is too soon to
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