Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I felt an Earthquake for the first time today. It wasn't a very big deal here. Initially I thought, "what the fuck is Dad doing?," but I quickly realized it couldn't be a person that was doing it. The shaking wasn't violent here, but just a pretty noticeable rocking back and forth for about a minute. It was an unique experience that I don't particularly want to experience more fully in the future.

They tend to change the magnitude often during the first few days after a quake has hit, so while it is being shown as a 5.8 right now that could go up or done as the people who handle such matters process more information. Whether there is an adjustment or not, is about as big as Earthquake get in the Eastern third of the country. Using my rough understand of the Richter Scale, that makes this quake about 30 times less energetic than the Earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010 and about 27,000 times less energetic than the Earthquake that struck Japan in March.

The unique thing about this quake is that it was so widely felt. The Eastern half of the Country isn't anywhere near as geologically active as the western half, so our crust is older and denser. That allows the energy of an Earthquake to move much more efficiently and therefore a 5.8 Earthquake in Virginia can be felt in Toronto. A similar quake out west would not be felt in as large of an area as today's was.

I know we're kind of wusses for reacting the way we did to what is a pretty feeble earthquake. It just has happened so rarely around here before. I mean it's a pretty cool experience when there are no worries about any damage being done and it being so uncommon. It's like a certain city (that'll remain nameless =p) going freakin crazy over like an inch of snow. In Columbus, OH an inch of snow is little but an annoyance, but an earthquake is exciting. A smallish quake might just be an annoyance out west, but a few flurries and shutdown a city.

I'm glad there was only quite minor damage close to the epicenter. Also, that my friend Kathy (who is much closer to that epicenter than I) didn't even have to do any picking-up =)

Thanks for reading and please comment


1 comment:

  1. The last earthquake I experienced was "THE" quake of 1999. I don't remember how big it was, but it was pretty scary to us third-graders =p The thing I like about living in a relatively active area (geologically speaking) is that we get a bunch of little ones. The pressure gets released a little at a time. I much prefer that to rare devastating ones. Luckily it's been quite some time since one of those. *knocks on wood* I don't care for natural disasters. But I'm glad the one today was small enough that you guys can joke about it =]