Five days before my tenth birthday, the Northridge quake hit, and let's just say it wasn't so awesome. My little sister and I had fallen asleep in the living room while watching movies, and when the shaking started we both thought our dad was in the kitchen shaking the fridge. Weird, right? But that was exactly the kind of thing he'd do to scare the crap out of us.
|Damage from the Northridge Quake|
At any rate, when the shaking started, we both yelled at him to stop shaking the fridge and let us sleep. When he yelled from the top of the stairs that it was an earthquake, it finally dawned on us that, hey, the entire house is shaking.
Ever seen Transformers? You know the scene I'm talking about!
Yeah, that was us. I've had little love for earthquakes ever since!
When we moved to Arkansas I remember thinking, "Woohoo! No more earthquakes!"
Pfft, yeah. I was an idiot. We in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, and we get them here.
In high school, we were forced to watch one of those "what could happen" documentaries where scientists all get together to talk about doomsday scenarios should a large earthquake ever strike the fault-line. Suffice to say, we should've stayed in California. At least the buildings were more or less earthquake ready there. Here? Not so much so.
Last year, my wifey experienced it for herself when a 5.6 hit near where she lives. It was a relief to know I'm not the only one with a little inner voice screaming, "We're all gonna die!" when the ground starts shaking.
It reinforced the reality that nowhere is safe. Fault-lines run all throughout the world, and an earthquake can hit any one at any time. As we've seen, the effects can be devastating. Infrastructure and buildings buckle, the ground can rupture, if one hits in the ocean, tsunamis can spring up and bring an entirely new level of devastation to coastal communities. It's all kinds of unpleasant, and the bigger the earthquake, the more unpleasant it is! In 1811-1812, three large earthquakes struck the New Madrid fault, followed by over 200 5.0 or larger quakes throughout the United States.
And according to the experts, we're overdue for another large quake here. The 9.0 that hit Japan last year, and the resultant tsunami, devastated much of the nation. It's scary to think about something equally as strong hitting the United States! Remember this scene from 2012?
Let's all just pray that never happens. Because, seriously y'all, No. Thank. You!
Do you panic when the ground starts shaking?
See you "F"riday,
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*Title reference: Earthquake by The Used