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 Post subject: Dancing Earth
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2001 10:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 242
Location: Washington St.
Okay, I had to work dance into this post somehow.<P>The town where I live has recently had a series of minor earthquakes, which is pretty much unheard of. Sadly, I was out of town for the initial jolt, which woke my friends up -- they all thought cars had run into their houses. But I've been around for a few aftershocks this week (really very minor -- they are mostly sound, with the big ones vibrating just a little. It is as if the earth had a bad case of indigestion). I'm really excited. I get very excited about all sorts of natural phenomena (weather, aurora, astronomy, etc.), and I never expected to feel an earthquake. <P>I just wonder if any of you in other parts of the world have any earthquake stories to tell. Would you share them with me? Image


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing Earth
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 4:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Living in Southern California, one would think that I have felt numerous earthquakes - but thankfully that is not so. <P> I did feel one many years ago while I was sitting on the grass at a park. Actually I saw it more than felt it. It was a rolling earthquake and it looked like a giant rolling pin was underneath the grass and rolling from one end of the park to another.<P>Another that I felt was when the big Northridge quake happened a few years ago, but in San Diego it was barely discernable. I was in bed - it was early morning.<P>The biggest one I felt was when I was a child in Philadelphia - that one really jolted me awake.<P>Much more frightening was at the lake one day - I was sitting at a bench writing in my notebook, when I saw a wind funnel develop across the lake - come across the water, and make its way to where I was. It wasn't quite a tornado - but a good approximation. I could hear the roar, and it came out of the sky - as I remember it the sky was clear, and it was whipping the trees around. I buried my head in my arms (there was no way to outrun it), and felt it trying to lift me - but that's all.<P>The scrariest thing that ever happened to me - in the form of natural potential disasters was being in an air plane over Kansas (trying to land at Kansas City) and dodgeing around tornados - the sky was black/green. I never saw clouds like that before!! And hope to never again. <P>My husband was caught in the North Atlantic in a full fledged hurricane - and one of the ships (Navy ship) broke in half.


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing Earth
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 7:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 257
Location: St. Peters, MO USA
i had a couple of earthquake experiences here in st. louis. one was around 15 years ago. i was sitting at home, and i heard a rumbling sound. i thought it was a truck driving through the subdivision. then i felt it. it was like what besheva said, a rolling pin under the ground. (one of the DJs on the radio jokenly said it was a giant missouri earth worm moving through the st. louis area Haha!) another one i felt was years later. it wasn't as strong though. it just made my bed shake. (it felt like a dog jumped on my bed)remember a few years ago when some scientist predicted that the new madrid fault south of st. louis was going to have a great quake and the entire area was going to be destroyed? ha!! that was a laugh. we all got insurance, bottle water, and of course, if your from st. louis you'll really understand this, our bread, eggs,and milk!HA!! (everytime we have an emergency, like lots of snow, everyone, and i mean everyone buys milk, bread, and eggs. why? i have no clue!! its a st. louis thing.) but so far we've had no great quakes since then. <BR>Kim <BR><P>------------------<BR>Great Dancers are not great dancers because of their technique: they are great dancers because fo their passion -- Martha Graham<BR>

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Great Dancers are not great dancers because of their technique: they are great dancers because of their passion -- Martha Graham<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing Earth
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 7:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
One of the largest quakes ever to occur in the United States happened in the New Madras fault - I believe it was in the early 1800's and supposedly changed the course of the Mississippi River and was felt for hundreds and hundreds of miles. Injury and death was not heavy because the area was not well populated at the time.<P>We do keep certain items at hand in case of earthquake - water, manual can opener, first aide kit, cans of food. Cans of juice. I also keep a packet of paper money in small bills as probably the ATM's and credit card access would be limited. <P>Years ago a transformer went out in this area and I happened to be at the food store at the time and they could not take money cards of any kind - not could they make change - so I decided a packet of small bills on hand would be a good idea. Just enough to buy necessities - like gasoline, food, water, batteries, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing Earth
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 8:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 8612
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Well San Francisco has had its share of natural disasters over the years and thankfully I have missed most of them. <P>What most people outside of California don't know is that while we only have earthquakes rarely we have fires all the time. <P>Growing up we had a fire come within five miles of the downtown area and half of my friends were evacuated. Two years later, there was a huge fire in the Oakland hills which came within blocks of my uncle's house. They had been evacuated as well. I always found the fires more scary, because they last longer than an earthquake, they smell for miles, and the firefighting airplanes fly overhead constantly. Sounds like your town is being bombed.


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing Earth
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 10:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Alright... one of my jobs is as a seismic engineering consultant... so, here goes.<P>California may be one of the safest places to be as far as earthquakes go because:<P>1. Even though California experiences frequent earthquakes, this is a good thing as it releases energy in smaller amounts instead of in one explosive burst. Many of the largest earthquakes have actually occured outside of California. For example, three of the world's ten largest earthquakes happened in Alaska, three of the 25 largest earthquakes in the contiguous US occurred in New Madrid (Missouri), and Pleasant Valley (Nevada), Dixie Valley (Nevada), Hebgen Lake (Montana) and Borah Park (Idaho) all recorded earthquakes in the top 25 in the contiguous US;<P>2. Due to the nature of the soil in California, earthquakes tend to be regionalized. In the Midwestern and Eastern portions of the US, earthquakes can be amplified by the rock structure, carrying earthquakes far beyond state boundaries. For example, an earthquake in Tennessee caused bells to crack in New York and Philadelphia;<P>3. California has been at the forefront, politically and structurally, in incorporating leading edge technology and engineering. For example, a 7.x earthquake in California affects less lives than a 5.x temblor elsewhere;<P>4. California has also been at the forefront in implementing hazard mitigation and disaster relief measures. For example, gas lines are fitted with flexible couplings and automatic shut-offs to prevent fires. Fires may very well be the number one cause of damage in an earthquake;<P>5. California is not affected by adverse weather conditions. An earthquake in the winter in the Northeastern US could be disastrous due to loss of utilities for heating. Many people may die from severe winter conditions.<P>Some food for thought, eh?<P>Now, having said all the above, the current building codes are designed primarily to protect lives and do nothing to prevent the building and in its infrastructure from being unusable following a temblor. I have spent the last several years educating corporations and organizations that code-conforming buildings save lives but not businesses.


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing Earth
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2001 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 242
Location: Washington St.
That's really neat info about the relative safety of California earthquakes. I think that after the San Francisco freeway collapse (among other things), we've developed the idea that California earthquakes are both inevitable and dangerous. Which is probably true, but not to the extent popular imagination likes to think. <P>I've lived in Eastern Washington all my life, and we don't usually get any severe conditions. No hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. So if someone spots a funnel cloud or people wake up to an earthquake, it is a pretty big deal. Of course, Mt. St. Helens did create havoc in 1980, but I was only 2 years old. I missed out!


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