Quake!

Jun. 21st, 2012 12:05 am
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There was an earthquake in Melbourne last night. This was the first time that I've experienced an earthquake and realised that that was what was happening while it was still going on. Mind you it took us a couple of goes - initially we thought it was high winds (sound wasn't quite right), then we wondered if it was an explosion at the local barracks (too long and no sound), and then the rippling floorboards and shaking couch finally clued us in. Then we spent the next 30 seconds looking nervously at the cracks in the plaster on the wall and wondering if we should go outside (neither of us had shoes on, so we would have had to grab them too).

Then, just as suddenly as it had started, it all stopped again. No damage here, nothing even fell down. Weird.

We don't get many earthquakes in Melbourne, obviously.

The actual earthquake listing is here - the epicentre was down in Gippsland, so it's quite a surprise how far across Melbourne it was felt, and as far north as Tocumwal.

What amused me the most was that facebook and twitter immediately lit up with people asking if that was an earthquake - most Melburnians are like me, we've no idea what it's supposed to feel like! - and the local government website which monitors earthquakes promptly crashed as we all tried to access it at once to find out what was happening, where the epicentre was and whether St Kilda was going to be hit by a tsunami at any moment. Heh.

Given that it was only a 5.2 or 5.3 magnitude quake it was, of course, very small potatoes compared to Christchurch, Japan, Aceh, Haiti or basically any of the other quakes that have made the news in recent times. Which is a good thing I think - talking to Michael's nurse this morning she admitted to wondering (a) if the hospital was rated for earthquakes and (b) what the evacuation plan was. Given that she could feel it on the 5th floor I could see why she was concerned.

Michael, on the other hand, slept through the entire thing. Probably a good thing. Hopefully that's the most exciting quake I experience!
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