Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The 5.9 Earthquake

I have long felt that my area was overdue for a significant earthquake. This is what motivated us to put an earthquake rider on our homeowner's insurance and to secure much of the heavier mirrors,furniture and other things, to walls. A few years ago, we had a 4.3 earthquake while I was out changing alpaca waters, and Stephanie brought Daniel out to the front yard, who was barefoot at the time.
No one is injured here thankfully, but we have damage. Our kitchen has pots and pans thrown to the floor. The pantry looks as if it has thrown all of its food to the floor. Jars crashed and exploded, and a jar of ketchup ruptured and is all over the floor. Our bedroom bookcases look as if they have thrown CDs, DVDs, books, and decorative items. Our daughter's room has a lot of damage. Our outbuildings have damage and cracks in their siding, although we do not yet see foundational cracks. We are certainly fortunate that this was not much worse.
Interestingly, today, and when we have had earthquakes before, Stephanie, Adam and I have headaches, nausea, and auditory disturbances when there is an impending earthquake. Today was no different. Perhaps we are sensitive to barometric pressure changes or to the sliding of one tectonic plate against another. Our poor cat is still upset.
I am hearing that schools will be closed in the neighboring five counties for the next few days. Virginia Commonwealth University has closed for the day. The quake was felt as far away as Toronto. The Pentagon and the Capitol in DC have been evacuated. Shelters have been opened nearby for people with signficant home damage. There have been at least two aftershocks.
Our cellular and regular phones have also been out for most of the afternoon. I finally reached all of our kids, and everyone is ok, though shaken. The tv says that there is structural damage in Baltimore, DC, Virginia and other places also.
So far this week, Adam was in one of our outbuildings while it was struck by lightning. Two days later, we have earthquake damage. We are expecting a hurricane, and possibly tornadoes. I think I want a nap.

Update: Thus far, there have been three aftershocks, 2.2, 2.3 and 4.2 and it's only 8:30 pm

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