Yes, an earthquake hit DC yesterday just before 2 PM. Depending on what source you read, the earthquake hit a 5.8-6.0 magnitude on the Richter Scale. In Mineral, Virginia (close to the epicenter; about 85 miles southwest of Washington, DC), many buildings were severely damaged; in DC proper, not so much.
The whole country (particularly the West Coast, who suffers from “earthquake affliction”) is making fun of us. And they should. We totally overreacted over a minor blip. Some of my friends… errr… acquaintances… stormed the supermarkets and bought up their supplies of toilet paper, water and batteries for the year. Businesses were closed for the day. The public transit system went into a standstill for several hours, preventing people from going home in a timely manner. Me: I didn’t leave the house at all yesterday.
But folks, you have to remember that this is Washington F-ing DC. The first thoughts in our minds weren’t OMG!!!!! EARTHQUAKE!!! It was, OMG!!!! TERRORIST ATTACK!!!! I live approximately two miles from the Pentagon and three miles from the White House. My neighbors told me that our building hadn’t shaken this hard… well, since 9/11. (I wasn’t living here then.) And it’s getting close to the tenth year anniversary… Yeah, planes flying into buildings are on many people’s minds. Thank God it was just a moderate earthquake. (The cat would like to interject at this time: she does not feel that it was the “moderate earthquake” at all… In fact, I didn’t see her for several hours afterwards.)
Couple that fact with… well, the East Coast isn’t known for our plate tectonic activity. (I don’t think – I’d have to ask my Geologist sister.) The Washington, DC region apparently had an earthquake last year, but I didn’t feel it. This one… well, my condo shook violently for 30-45 seconds before it was all over. I was lucky… I didn’t lose water, gas or electricity at all. In fact, I was on the internet the entire time the earthquake was occurring. However, my cellphone service was lost for several hours. I couldn’t call out, but I could receive voice and text messages. Weird.
Surveying the damage, there was none, thank God… except one plant had been knocked off its shelf and was dying on the ground. I put all the dirt back in the pot and tried to resuscitate the plant…
In fact, the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area may not be done yet in the Natural Disaster Department this week… Hurricane Irene may hit us over the weekend, just for good effect. And six nuclear power plants along the east coast might be damaged due to the shakin.’ (Including one close to Mineral, VA…) Yay!
So when all of you from Michigan and Kansas get your once in a millennium earthquake, don’t expect any sympathy from me. When you pick up your fingers to write your next snarky Facebook post… think of us poor, frazzled people in Washington, DC, who apparently, cannot get a break at all.