The Science Center, and Sever, Thayer and Emerson halls were evacuated Monday morning after campus police received a report that explosives were planted in the four buildings. Access to Harvard Yard was also restricted.
"That step was taken out of an abundance of caution after an email was received at approximately 8:40 a.m. by the Harvard University Police Department and other community members, claiming that explosive devices may have been hidden at those four sites," Katie Lapp, Harvard's executive vice president and chief administrative officer, said in a statement. "I am relieved to report that no suspicious devices were found,"
"Please be assured that the safety of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority. At this time, we know of no specific threat to campus and activities are returning to normal," she said.
This is finals week for undergraduates at the university. College officials told the Boston Globe they were working to identify and reschedule exams disrupted because of the evacuations. The Science Center, and Sever and Emerson halls contain lecture rooms while Thayer Hall is a dorm for freshmen.
President Obama was briefed about the incident, the White House said. He attended Harvard Law School, which has its own campus near the historic Harvard Yard -- where Thayer, Sever and Emerson halls are -- and the Science Center.
Graduate student Nathan Pflueger told the Globe he had just arrived at his Science Center office when the alarm sounded. Police immediately told people it would be a while before the building would reopen, he said.
"My guess is someone is trying to cause mischief during finals week," Pflueger said.