I’m still reeling from the earthquake that took place an hour ago. The building shook briefly and a soft train-like noise reverberated. I had never experienced an earthquake before but I instinctively knew what it was- like a rat on a sinking ship. But on the seismically challenged east coast, how could this be? I know intellectually that earthquakes aren’t confined to California and Asian countries but how and why would one occur at 2 on a low humidity, sparkling August Tuesday? Just more proof that the world, as I know it, is shaky and uncertain.
The quake’s epicenter was located in central Virginia about 54 kilometers northwest of Richmond, at a depth of 1 kilometer. It was about a 5.9, though considerably less by the time is got to us. Cell phone service was limited, contributing to my sense of unease.
I guess every 60 something needs to experience a temblor at least once, just so we can say we did. I’ve seen a tornado in the distance, dipping down from a greenish gray cloud like the devil’s finger. I’ve experienced hurricanes with throbbing rain, gusting winds and tree limbs dipping down to touch the earth. I’ve witnessed a blizzard where the snow slanted sideways and was accompanied by thunder and lightening. I even lived to tell the tale of 25 below zero temperatures. But I haven’t experienced a flood or a plague or a fire and I’d like to keep it that way.
I believe that weather people don’t have a clue as to what is coming. They stare at charts and maps and speak in calming voices but internally, they are saying: What the___! Where did that come from? If an earthquake can visit us on a Tuesday in August, anything can happen. What surprises me is how surprised I am!