Thursday, February 21

Earthquake a big nothing

Since I live in earthquake territory, I am always interested when a big one occurs nearby. This morning’s shaker in northeast Nevada isn’t exactly nearby, but it still got my attention. The big blue square means the magnitude is at least 6, which is a significant quake. I checked various sources, a newspaper in Reno, another in Las Vegas, and finally the New York Times. You’d think nothing had happened. The Las Vegas paper had an article from Reuters saying the high-voltage power lines in the area weren’t damaged (need lots of power to keep the lights on in Vegas), the Reno paper said gold mining wasn’t on hold for too long, and the Times had a quote from a woman whose ironing was interrupted by the shaking: “I kept thinking, ‘When is it going to quit?’ A couple pictures fell off the walls,” she said. “One of my grandkids ran outside. They didn’t know what else to do. It scared them.”

[Update: The Las Vegas Sun now reports that 25 buildings in Wells, NV, collapsed and 700 homes in the area were damaged. They also report that federal disaster agents will be flying in to assess damage. Wells is described as a “railroad town.” The Feds are going to fly in?]

Around here, the quakes are tiny. But more and more numerous. On the map above, see that little teensy yellow square in the middle of California? That’s my house. Or nearby, at least. We get little 2s and 3s every once in awhile, but over a year’s time that could add up to at least a 7! Kind of like rain—an inch here, a half inch there—over a year’s time you got feet.

Having a blog gives one the chance to help prepare readers for emergencies. Like for instance, when an earthquake happens while you’re ironing, simply let go of the iron and step away. The ironing board will jerk back and forth, but the iron will remain stationary due to inertia and just might finish ironing your shirt for you! Remember that for the next big one. I can’t think of any more good ideas right now, but promise I’ll work on it.

6 comments:

Susan said...

Yeah, earthquakes can be a nuisance. Once in Anchorage I thought I'd pulled the whole kitchen cupbaord away from the wall while I was cleaning it. I was so relived to hear the jingle of rattling bottles on top of the fridge a nanosecond later and realised it wasn't me - it was just an old earthqwauke, and the cupboard had really stayed attached to the wall - I guess I could have kept the rag on the bench and got the job done faster with the earthqquake's help. Kinda like your ironing story...but I got distracted by the swaying bank building next door.

Susan said...

Hmmm. Maybe there was an earthquake here in Australia while I was typing. That could account for all the extra letters and dyslexia in some words. I'll check the news reports tomorrow and let you know.

Tom Hurley said...

You get earthquakes in Australia? I thought that continent was so old and stable it only got floods and droughts and tsunamis.

Susan said...

Ha ha. You thought wrong.

We have lots of earthquakes but they usually happen out in the deserts where no one lives, but not always. Try looking at these sites:

http://www.quakes.uq.edu.au/seis_maps/

http://quakes.earth.uq.edu.au/gen_info/lge_quakes/list_aust.html

Tom Hurley said...

I'm not convinced. I think what you're calling earthquakes are really echoes of real earthquakes that happen on the other side of the world. I don't have the time right now, but I bet if you look at an earthquake map on the exact opposite side of the globe, they will match except they will be mirror images. Australia is just simply too old to have earthquakes any more. Rabbits, cane toads, yes. Real locally-generated earthquakes, no.

Susan said...

Ha haaaa!!