Tuesday, August 23, 2011

5.9 Earthquake on the East Coast

The state of NY is known for its apples, its vibrant city, and . . . earthquakes? 

Around 2:30 PM today, I was on my computer working on my latest writing quest when suddenly my entire desk begins to shake. At first the tremor is subtle, barely felt. I've lived through earthquakes before in Japan but I was too young to remember then, so you could say that I've never felt through an earthquake yet. So I didn't realize what this was at first, obviously. A bit jarred, I continued writing, thinking there must be some sort of heavy construction work going on somewhere around the neighborhood (I heard trucks and such outside, so I had perfectly logical reason to believe such a thing). When the shaking did not stop, however, and only increased I stood up, realizing that maybe this wasn't the result of some benign construction work after all. When I did, I felt the shaking even more (my heart's still pounding really fast, by the way) and watched with confused and terrified eyes as my entire desk, chest of drawers, mirror and even my heavy wooden queen-sized bed began to shake and tremble like they would just fall apart right now. 

I ran out of my room, calling for Aunty (that's what we call our nanny who stays at our house Monday thru Friday every week) and she ran out of my parents' bedroom where she'd been cleaning to shout, "Earthquake! Earthquake!" Only Aunty and I had felt it - my grandparents who are home with us, and my brother, did not. It had only been felt upstairs, not downstairs, apparently. They even doubted us, saying we'd gone crazy or something. At least, that's what my grandma told me. 

Now, if you live on the East Coast of the U.S., you understand my confusion. The last time a truly damaging earthquake hit the NYS area was in 1944. That was sixty-seven years ago. So the people of NYS are not used to earthquakes, and those in NYC who felt it did not at first realize what they were feeling, because there are so many other disturbances and such there. I was watching the news coverage on it a while back and people who were interviewed said they'd first thought it was either construction or just a really big subway train going very fast underground. When the shaking didn't stop, though, they realized something was seriously wrong, and some buildings had to be evacuated. Lower Manhattan has some of its streets filled with people right now. 

This event has really made me realize how fragile this balance of life is for us humans and everything else living on this planet. Watching natural disasters occur on TV and experiencing them are definitely not the same thing. While watching, you feel only sympathy and thank your lucky stars or God or whatever else you believe in that it wasn't you. Experiencing it, though, truly makes you grateful for everything you normally take for granted in this world.    

Right now I'm at my desk again, typing up this blog post to mark this day in NY history and possibly awaiting aftershocks. If I don't feel them, wonderful. If I do, I'll be sure to let you know. 

1 comment:

  1. I FELT IT (as I just told you over phone her her)



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