[sumo]-off-topic- Earthquake hits NYC and US east coast
Scott M. Kahn
smk1 at columbia.edu
Tue Aug 23 22:34:37 EDT 2011
Here, in NYC, the magnitude probably depends on the borough and where
within the borough you live in. Manhattan is built on some of the
hardest foundations you'll find anywhere. Here, in Queens, our
foundation is very soft, there is a water table below, so we got a
mighty good shaking early this afternoon, reminiscent of some of the
magnitude 4.0+ Tokyo earthquakes in the 1970s that I experienced.
It's probably a somewhat similar geologically to reclaimed areas in,
say SF and Tokyo bay. The shaking here was horizontal, and lasted,
probably half a minute.
Being NYC, people I spoke to here were, pardon the pun, shaken up.
After 9/11, the first thing that comes to people's minds, at least
those who I spoke to, was that there was a terrorist attack, since an
earthquake such as the one today is probably a once in a lifetime
experience here. Near our building, there was construction going on,
so some people thought that was causing the shaking. Then, once
people realized they were experiencing an earthquake, thoughts turned
to the recent tragedy in northeastern Japan, so people wanted to get
out of the building they were in as fast as possible.
For the most part, few here had ever experienced an earthquake before,
so everyone was running down stairs, into the streets. In our area of
Queens, the streets filled fast with people, many crying and upset,
and cell phone service was intermittent, a la 9/11. I spoke with a
few friends who had lived in Japan, and it was surprising, but not
alarming- been there, done that.
Reports say no, or little damage here in NYC, hopefully it will get
the city to address the real possibility of a stronger earthquake, and
educate the public on what measures to take, as is appears as though
the city was unprepared. I've heard that certain historical areas in
Washington DC were damaged.
But, taken with the perspective of the horrendous Tohoku earthquake
and tsunami, we were extremely lucky it was of much lower magnitude,
but it gave the east coast a very small taste of what Japan has
experienced, with an admiration for how Japan has handled herself
under much more trying circumstances.
Quoting Jim Bitgood <jimbit at verizon.net>:
> Here in Laurel, Maryland, it felt pretty strong. After living in
> Chitose for 3 years, I should recognized it instantly. But it was
> nearly over by the time I figured out what was happening. First thing I
> did was stand up and turn off the ceiling fan over my head. Seemed to
> last only about 30-40 seconds. By the time I went outside it was over.
> The lady delivering the mail apparently didn't even notice it. For all
> the shaking and noise, there is no damage detectable in the house. One
> tube of silicon sealant fell off a shelf in the garage.
> The part that really scared me was the way the house shook. It was like
> it was all separate pieces vibrating against each other. The house I
> lived in in Chitose shook like it was a single solid unit. That house
> was built to take it.
> My collection of bobbleheads was really rocking even a few seconds
> after the shaking in the ground stopped.
> But for all the noise and shaking, my wife (the nurse who works nights)
> didn't wake up. That was good.
> I think Gaijingai might be about the same distance away as I am. I
> suspect they should be fine. I did see a report on a Baltimore TV
> station that somebody in Westminster, Maryland had some furniture crash
> to the floor.
> There is a video of a camera focused on the White House in Washington
> that shows so much shaking that the camera almost turned away from the
> White House. TV news shows a lot of bricks down. Some cathedrals in
> Baltimore and Washington have damage to steeples.
> So far there are no reports of any serious injuries or deaths related
> to the quake. That's the good news.
> Now we have to wait for Hurricane Irene to blow by us.
> On 8/23/2011 5:36 PM, Wayne, Emmett Mr CIV USA USAMC wrote:
>> I assume Gaijingai is fine, since he is located further away from the
>> epicenter than I am.
>> I am fine, since I am on vacation with Mrs. Yoohoo in Missouri. And I have
>> talked to my pastor back home, and other than a whole lot of shaking, he
>> said things appear to be normal there also.
>> Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.
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