Saturday, February 27, 2010

Earthquakes Everywhere

I woke up to the news of the 8.8 earthquake in Chile. I have always paid attention to earthquake stories - part of my policy of being obsessed with the news - and I even had earthquake and tsunami nightmares prior to January 12th. But now my reaction to a story like this has a whole different intensity.

As I talk to people about what happened in Haiti, I am finding that many people have earthquake stories that I never heard before. I have talked to people who were in, or had relatives who were in this one, this one, this one and this one. I remember a huge one when I was in graduate school, and someone responding, "At least it's not here." But it certainly could be - there have been large earthquakes in the American heartland.

Yesterday I discovered this page, which is part of the USGS site: Did You Feel It? Apparently everyone connected with Haiti and connected to the internet has already been watching this, except for me. This is where you can see aftershocks, very shortly after they happen. I am horrified to see how many earthquakes there are, all over the world, every single day. Now I'm watching aftershocks in Chile, and aftershocks off the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.

How did I ever get the idea that the ground was stable under my feet? Obviously terra firma is a complete misnomer.

1 comment:

Tricia said...

I had a friend in grad school who'd moved to Michigan from California. She'd been in the World Series quake ( - and even though it was 1 or 2 years later, she needed to grab on to me in class (for emotional support) at the anniversary of the quake.