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Old 08-23-2011, 04:23 PM   #41
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Often the real damage done by an earthquake are the fires and floods caused by broken pipes and damaged dams. Any news of that kind of thing is the real reason to worry.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:30 PM   #42
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I wonder why I don't feel them more often then. This was my first one. I've always wanted to give it a go so I'm happy I was in a position to notice it. And I was in Mass and this thing was in Virginia. If 3.5 happen a day and you can feel it outwards in a 700 mile radius like I did this one, then it seems that tens of millions of people must experience earthquakes everyday. I wonder why so few can report having felt one then...
Some people are more sensitive to earthquakes than others. Perhaps you are one of them. When I lived in California, often during minor earthquakes my ex would feel them, but I was not sure until seeing the water in the fishtanks sloshing about.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:34 PM   #43
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If 3.5 happen a day and you can feel it outwards in a 700 mile radius like I did this one, then it seems that tens of millions of people must experience earthquakes everyday.
Over twice the earth's surface is water than land, and the watery surface is sparsely populated. Did you take that into account?
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:57 PM   #44
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I live in western PA about 20 miles to the southeast of Pittsburgh. I felt today's quake while sitting at my desk in a third floor office space. My first thought was that the historic building I was in was finally collapsing. It seemed to rumble and sway every so slightly, and I observed a little turbulence in a half-full bottle of water on my desk. A few seconds after the first occurrence, it repeated itself. I grabbed my purse and joined the mass exodus out into the street.
I have experienced mild earthquakes before when I lived in CA and this felt somewhat similar, but I believed it was very unlikely here. I gave more credence at the time to the building caving in due to a structural problem. It seems we always have a contingent of workmen in the place fixing some deterioration or another. We could have built the place ten times over for what it has cost to keep us there.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:58 PM   #45
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Oh yeah, oceans. I forgot about those...
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:33 PM   #46
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It's kind of a sad commentary on the state of the world that you thought the trembling was the result of a bomb going off.
Sigh.....
Well, it's either that or a helicopter trying to land on the building roof. When the quake hit here we had that noise for a good 10 seconds before the shaking began, which finally clued me in.

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... but I believed it was very unlikely here. I gave more credence at the time to the building caving in due to a structural problem.
Sink hole from a coal mine!

After the minor quakes you find out just how well your drywall was taped...
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:46 PM   #47
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Welcome to the club. Been through more Northern California quakes than I can remember ( how's that for a senior moment! )

The 1989 Loma Prieta quake was the biggest in my memory - some damage in my home, but relatively light compared to others.

Fortunately, it was not that large, as quakes go - if it had been a 6.5 or more, things could have been bad.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:30 PM   #48
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Sink hole from a coal mine!

After the minor quakes you find out just how well your drywall was taped...
Ah, yes, the area IS honeycombed with old coal mines. I saw my first sink hole quite spectacularly when cutting through a little hamlet on my way to work about 10 years ago. I flew around a bend and was stopped dead in my tracks by a huge, gaping depression that swallowed up both sides of the road. Really shocking to me... must have happened over night and road was closed for a year.
And then there are all the gas wells in our shared former hometown. Every once in awhile they have an explosion there that creates havoc. The Marcellus Shale drilling and the environmental impact is much debated in the various communities right now.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:36 PM   #49
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Some people are more sensitive to earthquakes than others. Perhaps you are one of them. When I lived in California, often during minor earthquakes my ex would feel them, but I was not sure until seeing the water in the fishtanks sloshing about.
The 3.5 a day are mostly out west. We don't get them on the east coast too often. Like someone else said, the east coast is on a pretty big plate, and when one hits it does tend to carry for a very long ways.

However, I think I'm about 50 miles from the epicenter, and I didn't feel it, probably because I was in my '97 Miata, which shakes enough on it's own. And there was a 4.2 aftershock just 30 minutes ago, which I didn't feel either.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:56 PM   #50
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Geez 5.9 that isn't even an aftershock in Japan. I guess earthquakes in the East are like snow in LA or San Francisco the surprise isn't the severity it is in the newest.

Well glad everybody is just a bit shook up and not hurt.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:34 PM   #51
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I was just finishing up lunch at a local pizza joint here on Long Island when the building started to shake for about 10-15 seconds. Some of the inside lights hang from cables so they were visibly swaying.

The pizza joint is the end store of a set of stores so I wondered if the event was limited to just the group of stores. But when we saw an office building/bank across the way evacuate then we knew it was more than that.

I saw no damage of any type in my walk back home. When I returned to my apartment building I saw some of the neighbors in the lobby. Some had already seen local and MSNBC news coverage which said it was centered northwest of Richmond, VA, with the effects felt as far away as Detroit.

I experienced an earthquake (low 4s) in San Diego back in the 1980s. It was centered in the high inland desert and the shock wave felt like a very fat squirrel ran across the roof of the house. My cousin was napping in her waterbed at the time....must have felt like a tidal wave LOL!

My dad, who lives about 15 miles away from me on Long Island, told me he felt nothing. He said he was dozing and may have heard a rumble (which is odd because I heard no rumble where I was and it was not very noisy inside the pizza joint).
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:19 AM   #52
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I work in DC and live in Alexandria. I work for the gov't, but my first thought was actually a construction explosion or something, as there is lots of construction nearby. At my house, I had two broken wine glasses; two broken picture frames, pictures on the wall all askew, and just general shifting of most things loose. Weirdly, the TV upstairs almost fell off the bureau, which is a little scary - it's heavy!

The cats seemed a little freaked when I got home - they were in unusual places in the house, and didn't come down to eat right away. But, everything seems back to normal now.

Glad everyone is safe.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:40 AM   #53
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The best reaction I heard was from one of the guys at work. He called home to check and his wife's reaction was to yell at their two boys, ages 10 and 12, playing in the basement to "Knock it off down there before you break something!"

For once they were innocent.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:44 AM   #54
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At my house, I had two broken wine glasses; two broken picture frames, pictures on the wall all askew, and just general shifting of most things loose.
Sounds like a typical Saturday night at our house ...
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:24 AM   #55
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There are several apps for smart phones that will show where earthquakes have happened in near real time. It's interesting to see how many quakes happen every day.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:38 AM   #56
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Experiencing your first earthquake can be scary.

I've experienced several while I lived in MO. The first quake I experienced, I was 10 years old and sitting on the toilet.

Connection? Just sayin'...

I was in San Jose a few weeks after the '89 quake, on a train-cation for Megaconglomocorp. There was a mild aftershock, which sounded like someone scooting a piece of heavy furniture across the floor above us. One story building, though... Didn't know until that evening that it was a "quake".
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:40 AM   #57
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Three tidbits:
Decades ago, first wife and I had just finished having sex when a mild earthquake happened in San Diego. We laughed long and hard about that.

I was sitting in a motel room in Vallejo, CA watching a local news piece on earthquake preparedness when another mild earthquake occurred.

An earthquake occurred in Alaska, a short time later we saw the water level oscillate on a large tank level indicator in Mississippi.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:38 AM   #58
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Three tidbits:
Decades ago, first wife and I had just finished having sex when a mild earthquake happened in San Diego.
This thread is useless without pictures...

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We laughed long and hard about that.
No pun intended?
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:43 AM   #59
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We were in the car and didn't feel a thing. We are mad that we missed it.

DC Earthquake Devastation - jmckinley's posterous

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Old 08-24-2011, 10:43 AM   #60
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Often the real damage done by an earthquake are the fires and floods caused by broken pipes and damaged dams. Any news of that kind of thing is the real reason to worry.
Or damage from nuclear reactors that can't keep their reactors cooled and go "China Syndrome" on us spreading radioactive fallout for hundreds of miles.

That could count as "the real damage"
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