Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Seismic Activity...

Ok, clearly the photo to the left is a joke aimed at just how green life-long easterners such as myself are when it comes to earthquakes, but the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that rocked much of the east coast at approximately 1:52 pm this afternoon was most definitely a WTf moment. Any native of the east coast will quickly tell you - that's not something that happens here, so we're NOT at all used to such occurrences! To us, it was a very big deal indeed.

I can recall standing in front of my desk & looking down at the computer screen, when suddenly the floor beneath me began to shake slightly. Then the shaking got more & MORE intense - my 1st thoughts... "what the fuck is goin on!?!" Then shit started to fall off my desk - my next thoughts involved terrorism, specifically the possibility that the Washington, DC government building I work in had been bombed. "Now where did I put that gas mask?"

As the moments of uncertainly &then panic grew even longer, it finally hit me - I was standing in the middle of a God-damned earthquake! Then shouts were heard in the hallway instructing employees to immediately evacuate the building. Honestly, I was the last person who needed to hear that as I'd already had my phone, iPad & keys in-tow before racing across the hallway towards the stairwell, lol.

When I got outside the building, I encountered a sea of people, also spilling into the streets from nearby office buildings & shops. Each armed with a (non-working) cell phone attempting to place calls.

Thankfully, text messages & emails seemed to be getting to their intended recipients; without the cellular data signals we've grown so fond of, there would've been almost NO communication at all between most friends & loved ones across the region. So even though mobile telecommunication devices are often considered both a gift & a curse, I'm SO very glad to have 'em around!

From the reports I've gathered so far, the quake's epicenter was someplace outside of Richmond, VA (which is about 85 miles from DC) & was felt as far north as Toronto, Canada, as far south as Georgia & was about 3.7 miles deep. I'm hardly any scholar on seismic activity, but to me - that was fucking amazing. The undeniably brute force of nature can be so overwhelming to take-in at times.

The initial aftermath of the quake was reminiscent of the 9/11 attacks on the US. I can clearly recall the nonexistent cell phone service & overall lack-of knowledge regarding the events that had just taken place. Again, sirens blared non-stop, dazed & confused citizens aimlessly wandered the streets, it really was a pretty scary snap-shot of time in the nation's capital.

Shortly after the masses pieced together what just happened, then came the talks of after shocks, broken gas lines & cracked roadways/structures. At this point, my thoughts shifted to just how in the hell I would get home. I take the subway to work, so being stranded was not something I was looking forward to. Fortunately, the subway trains remained operational, but were only moving at 15mph.

But outside of an extremely long commute back to my car & then a rather erratic drive the rest of the way home, things for the most part seemed okay. At the time of this post no deaths or major injuries have been reported so I'm thankful for that. We took a punch from mother nature & survived the ordeal. At any rate, I guess those still awaiting the rapture, doomsday or whatever folks chose to call it, can get back on their respective soapboxes & start spreading the word once again - the end is coming, lol

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