Thursday, April 5, 2012

Earthquake on my mind #atozchallenge

I grew up in California, and we were always practicing earthquake drills in school. It was no big thing to feel a little rumble every now and then. It was California, after all. We were young, but my sisters and I never panicked about it. We thought we were completely awesome.

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,

You can read other Letter E posts from all across the blogosphere here.

Don't forget: The Hoppy Easter Blog Hop starts tomorrow. Hop on over here from the 6th to the 8th for your chance to win prizes! :)

*Title reference: Earthquake by The Used


  1. It is times like this that I'm happy I live in a country (Nigeria) with little or no record of natural disasters. Though the city I live in (Lagos) lies at the very edge of the Atlantic Ocean, just waiting to be buried under the sea at the slightest opportunity. *gulps*

    1. I'm so behind right now, but I wanted to thank you for commenting. Yikes on being buried under the sea, though I do envy you the lack of natural disasters. The US gets a little bit of everything. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, mudslides, avalanches... no where is safe!

  2. How frightening. It makes me count my blessings, like Micheal, that I live in an area free from natural disasters. We occasionally have mini earthquakes here in the UK, but they always result in a 'oooh' rather than a 'AAARRRRRGGGHHH!'.

    1. I'm so jealous that y'all live where there are no natural disasters. We have so many different threats in the States, it's ridiculous. If it's not one thing, it's another!

      I apologize for my late reply. I hope you're having an amazing weekend!

  3. You know, I never remember any earthquakes from my time out west. But last year we had our 5.8 quake and no one knew what to do (cause, let's face it, Virginia doesn't get earthquakes all that often). And then we all got upset because DC and NY were getting all the press coverage, but we were like 30 miles from the epicenter. Psh.

    Also, biggest earthquake east of the Rockies since 1897. So yeah, we're probably overdue for a big one, and it seems that the ground is waking up a little more out this way, since we've had a couple smaller quakes (none terribly noticeable) since.

    I can't wait for V. I hope it's about Yellowstone :)

    1. I remember that one! All we heard about here was the Washington Monument.

      No one knows what to do here either. Realistically we should since we're so close to the New Madrid fault, but we're clueless. When OK had the 5.6 quake, everyone panicked.

      I would tell you if you're wrong or right on V, but that'd spoil the suspense! ;)


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