Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Well, I'm going to try to get into a habit of writing again, with some regularity, and what better excuse to start than the earthquake we had in Virginia yesterday?

Yes, that's right... an earthquake in Virginia. By now it's well nigh impossible to have not heard about it, so I won't bore you with the stuff you've heard in the news, aside from the fact that it measured 5.8 or 5.9 on the Richter scale, a fairly strong quake. Oh, and the epicenter was northwest of Richmond, so southwest of where I live.

While I think the DC area is indulging in its tendency to get overwrought about natural events ("Snowmageddon" ring a bell?), I have to admit, it was a little unnerving, as I generally find earthquakes to be. I've been in six or seven of them over the years... and while I've spent some time in California, none of them were there. No, "my" quakes were here, and Portland, OR, Flagstaff, AZ, Salt Lake City, and New Haven, CT. If I had to rank them, the most unnerving was the one in Portland (centered in Seattle, 2001 or so), because it felt like the earth was rolling like surf. Very disconcerting.

But I have to admit, yesterday's was in second place on disconcerting. I was in the bike shop, sitting at the front counter when the big rollup door in front of be began to sway. At first I looked to see if a gust of wind had kicked up, but when the building and ground began to distinctly rock side to side, I knew what it was. The good news is there wasn't any damage at the shop or in my apartment. The bad news is that my cat was very freaked out for hours and hours afterwards!  Ah well, he seems to be back to his old self today.

There's news about some minor structural damage here and there in the area, but no fatalities that I know of, and no major injuries or damage. They were talking about the possibility that what we had was a "foreshock", meaning worse was yet to come, but so far we've just had some small aftershocks, none of which I've noticed.

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