Mother Nature On A Roll

August 25, 2011

People milling about following earthquake

Copyright 2011 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

On August 23, 2011, the East Coast experienced a 5.8 earthquake as described here by the United States Geological Survey.

In Fells Point, just outside Baltimore, MD, the ground rumbled and the buildings shook-was something to see the store-front glass windows undulate and the interior lights sway to and fro.  Fortunately, none of those windows shattered and there appeared to be no visible damage.

There was a brief moment when bystanders tried to make sense of the vibrations and looked for passing trucks.  That sentiment was quickly replaced as customers rapidly exited the restaurants into the streets and talked about how they felt their chairs move and that it had to be an earthquake.  Out came the smartphones and, seemingly instantaneously, people were reporting that it was indeed a 5.8 quake.

Folks continued milling about until slowly they went back about their business and it seemed to be just another afternoon in the city.  Many more appeared to have decided to leave or were told to leave as the main roads out of Baltimore were jammed a bit earlier than the usual afternoon rush.

Further south it was a different story as depicted in this photo essay and article from The Washington Post and this article about the epicenter, Mineral, Virginia.

While a 5.8 quake is considered “moderate” by the USGS and therefore no small event,  what happened here does not compare to the damage wrought by the earthquake that struck Japan earlier this spring.  That quake and subsequent tsunami devastated the areas impacted and the cleanup will need to continue for some time.  Damage to the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant created a major concern.  (Please note that these articles are dated but provide a sense of the progress and work yet to be completed.)  Nonetheless, for those on the East Coast, this event does provide a frame of reference for the experiences of those who are struck by larger disasters.  Having seen the deer-in-the-headlights look on people’s faces as they ran out of the stores and felt my own confusion and heart racing at what was happening when the quake hit, I can only imagine what it must be like to live through such a catastrophic event.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Irene has become a Category 3 storm and is continuing on a path toward North Carolina.  Soon we’ll feel that impact as well.

Take care.

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