Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Earthquake

Last night, I made hubby go to bed "early".  We were in bed by 11: 15 a.m. about 30 minutes later, I felt my first earthquake.  I have lived in BC for the past 13 years and have had people talk about "feeling earthquakes" throughout but last night was the first time.

It was a 4.3 or 4.8, depending on what news report you are reading.  Hubby and I were in bed. I was almost asleep when it felt like the bed was shaking and the nightstands were rattling.  I woke up and accused hubby of waking me up on purpose with his shaking.  He had to tell me that it was the WHOLE HOUSE that shook.

We could see/find no damage.  Neighbors went out onto the street to converse but other than that we could not tell what effect this had.

My thoughts went back to Swissair Flight 111 . In 1998, I had just moved back to Wolfville, NS for my second year of my masters degree at Acadia.  I was living with my now best friend, Jenn.  She lived near the site of the crash and told me stories of her friends and neighbors dealing with the aftermass.  One story in particular was that there was a man she grew up with who was outside when the plane went down.  It went down so low that he could reach up and touch the belly of the plane as it went down.  She told me of how violently the houses shook, dishes falling from the shelves.... this is what the earthquake reminded me of.

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VANCOUVER - Many residents of Metro Vancouver felt shaking late Tuesday night, as a moderate earthquake struck near Victoria.
The quake struck at 11:39 p.m., about 20 kilometres north of Victoria was felt across much of southern British Columbia.
Earthquakes Canada said the quake measured 4.3 on the Richter scale. Alison Bird, a seismologist with the agency who lives in Victoria, said she was woken up by the shaking.
She said it was unlikely there would any major aftershocks because they are rare in the Juan de Fuca plate, but said the quake should serve as a reminder to residents to be prepared for a much larger one.
There were no reports of damage, she added, but residents as far away as Chilliwack and Maple Ridge reported feeling the ground shake. A Vancouver Sun reporter, who lives in the West End of Vancouver, was woken by the bed shaking for several seconds, while another said her whole house in East Vancouver shook. A Canadian Press reporter in South Surrey said it felt like a truck passing by.
Others on Twitter noted beds shaking, dishes rattling, and Christmas decorations tinkling. The City of Vancouver said there were no reports of any significant damage from the earthquake.
In Metro Vancouver, SkyTrain temporarily shut down until crews determined it was safe to operate the train on the guideway. Service resumed Wednesday morning.
On Vancouver Island and in the Gulf Islands, the quake was felt in varying degrees, with some people saying it rattled their house, while others reported they barely noticed it. One Twitter user on Saltspring Island, Lynda Monk, called it “scary” and said it was the largest earthquake she had felt in 16 years living on the island.
BC Hydro said it had not detected any quake damage and there were no disruptions to transmission and distribution systems.
Authorities on the Island and in Vancouver posted messages on social media asking people not to call 911 about the quake unless there was an emergency.
The quake followed another that measured 4.4 and struck several hours earlier near San Bernardino, California. The U.S. agency said aftershocks of magnitude 3.8 and 3.2 came minutes later, and dozens of tiny aftershocks followed in the next few hours.
After the quake struck B.C., residents turned to social media to share updates, post tips, and comment on B.C.’s preparedness.
Mayor Gregor Robertson tweeted that every earthquake is a “crucial reminder for your family and business to be ready” while Vancouver School Trustee Patti Bacchus observed, “Tonight’s relatively minor #earthquake a subtle reminder from Mother Nature we need to get all seismically at-risk BC schools upgraded ASAP.”
Bird encouraged anyone who felt the earthquake to use the “did you feel it” button on the agency’s website at earthquakescanada.ca. “We gain more insight into what happened and what may happen in the future,” she said.
Meantime, south of the border, authorities reported that the quake was widely felt across the northwest Washington State. The U.S. Geological Society, which listed the quake as a slightly higher 4.8-magnitude, recorded more than 10,000 reports of the quake being felt.
The quake followed another that measured 4.4 and struck several hours earlier near San Bernardino, California. The U.S. agency said aftershocks of magnitude 3.8 and 3.2 came minutes later, and dozens of tiny aftershocks followed in the next few hours.
Last year, a 6.6-magnitude earthquake shook much of southwestern B.C. in the spring after it hit on the Nootka fault zone off the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Aftershocks in that quake were felt from one end of Vancouver Island to the other and parts of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. There were no reports of damage but aftershocks were felt as far as Kelowna and Penticton in the province’s Interior.
ticrawford@vancouversun.com
With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, and the Victoria Times Colonist

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