Thursday 25 August 2011

All shook up

So they had an earthquake in Virginia yesterday, a 5.8 which caused alarm and despondency in New York and Washington, broke the tips off some spires on the National Cathedral and sent the mergansers at the Zoo flocking into the water in the clear expectation that there would be no tsunami. Pft. Well, 5.8 is a decent size, I suppose, and it's certainly a rare event on the US east coast - so rare that it seems no-one knew the drill about desks and doorways - but still, pft.

Canterbury's up to 8457 aftershocks now since 4 September - almost a whole year ago, amazingly - 28 of them over magnitude 5, two of them bigger than 6. And many of them have been very shallow, so they didn't slip by unnoticed. There've been three 4+ shakes in as many days since Saturday. People's hair is falling out with the stress, there are still 1600 households unable to use their own toilets, and the announcements have begun about whose homes and suburbs are unsuitable for future habitation. Demolition in the city centre is continuing apace and every few days there's an announcement of another notable building having been condemned.

But although it's tempting just to smile and shrug, and to think along the lines of 'we should be so lucky', I do understand all the excitement and anxiety about the Virginian quake, especially amongst New Yorkers. After all, they have a big anniversary of their own looming up.


the queen said...

The thing I find unusual is the Eatserners keep complaining of dizziness when there's an aftershock. I suppose their tectonic plate just bobs up and down? Peculiar.

TravelSkite said...

Perhaps it's the sight of all those skyscrapers swaying. Or the thought that despite all that concrete pinning it down, the earth is still able to move. That'd make anyone's head spin a bit, I reckon.


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