Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I've always enjoyed those 1970s disaster films like Towering Inferno Poseidon Adventure and Earthquake. Until today I had never experienced any of these disasters, fortunately. But today I felt a brief but unmistakable earthquake.

Reports indicate that the center of the earthquake was in
Mineral, VA which is northwest of Richmond and about 200 miles from here. The quake was felt as far away as NYC, Boston, and Ohio.

I was sitting at my desk at work while my colleagues were having lunch in the conference room when I began to feel the 2-story office building sway. At 1st I thought a large truck had driven past and caused the motion, but it continued for several seconds. Then I thought it was me; that I was having an episode of over-stimulated vagus nerve, which results in dizziness and nausea, so I sat back in my chair and took a slow deep breathe. As I looked up at the ceiling I saw the hanging light fixtures swaying back and forth, and at that point I realized it wasn't me. We were having an earthquake. Next I heard my colleagues reacting.

"Do you feel that? Its an earthquake!"

"But we don't get earthquakes here."

"Well, we're getting one now, and I'm getting outta here!" she said as she rushed out the door.

"I wonder if we should get underneath the (conference) table?"

Before anyone had a chance to answer that last question, the swaying stopped. It took a few more seconds for the light fixtures to stop swaying.

I immediately went to Google and typed in "earthquake Aug 23" but found no relevent entries. So I went to my next trusted source, Facebook. Sure enough I began seeing update after update from local friends, friends in DC, Richmond, and Baltimore regarding the earthquake.
Its amazing how technology can unite and inform us within seconds!

Fortunately there appears to be no serious damage from the earthquake. Spouse's mother just called to say that some photos in frames on top of her entertainment center fell over, but that's it.

It was a creepy feeling, for sure, and 1 I hope not to feel again.


anne marie in philly said...

didn't feel it; my co-workers and I were returning from a goodbye lunch for someone who is leaving on friday. guess the car motion outweighed the earth's heaving.

and now for something completely different, a hurricane!

cb said...

I am SO jealous! I've been in tornadoes and hurricanes, but I really want to experience the feeling of an earthquake sometime.