Friday, June 29, 2018

shaken to the point of stirring

Last February, our little village had a 5.8 earthquake.

There was no missing what it was. There was the characteristic sound of a freight train roaring through town. And a good bit of shaking. Enough that members of our household appeared in the patio in various shades of undress. As if we were rehearsing for a family murder mystery.

Tonight, we went one up. Or, as the Richter scale goes, quite a bit up. To a 6.0.

The last quake was nearby -- out in the ocean. As was this one. Just 44 kilometers to the WSW of us. Out there in the Pacific where the plates grind against one another like teenagers.

The first question everyone asks is whether there was a tsunami. And the answer is no. That is true only because of the type of slippage. Earthquakes at sea always have the potential to release their energy in wave form.

The map I cribbed from the internet has a rather good graphic of how the energy is released through water (concentrically) and then through land (breaking up as the shocks encounter rock formations).

But, all of that is science. And knowledge does not often calm the primordial fears dished up by Mother Nature. Or, so I am told.

My girlfriend Linda once asked me, "Did the leaders of your planet tell you when they sent you here that humans have feelings?" She thought she was being funny.

But I get her point. As the double jolts passed through the house, I was on my bed reading The Economist. When the house started shaking, I considered heading out to the patio (our designated gathering spot). But, I was in the middle of an article about elections in Zimbabwe.

So, I finished the paragraph. By then, it was all over. And I felt a bit silly standing in the middle of the patio by myself listening to the neighborhood dogs announce that something exciting (and a bit scary) had just happened.

The moment having passed, I resumed reading my magazine. My mother would have been very proud at my aplomb.

I suppose the people who thought moving here was a problem because of our scorpions may want to think again. For me, it is just another reason to stay right where I am.

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