Thursday, August 25, 2011

Earthquake 5.8

It was the biggest earthquake in Virginia in over 100 years, so although our earthquake experiences weren't all that exciting, I figured it was worth writing down.

I was in the kitchen cutting up a mango for Julia and Julia was about ten feet away already sitting in her high chair. I felt some shaking and thought at first, a large truck driving by, because our house shakes quite often when large trucks drive down King Street. A split second later I decided the shaking was too strong and thought, "Is something wrong with the house? It feels like an earthquake, but we don't get earthquakes here."

I put down the knife and took a few steps towards Julia when I felt the shaking really get strong. So I ran to Julia and took her out of her high chair, all the while half looking at the wall moving horizontally side to side. I stood in the middle of the room a couple seconds to decide where to go, heard something upstairs fall to the floor (it was a hairbrush), and then went and stood by the front doorway. By then I had already decided it was an earthquake, but not so strong that we had duck and cover.

The whole time Julia was asking, "What's that Mom? What's that Mom?" I think she was a little scared because I had ran and taken her out of her high chair so quickly, but since I didn't seem too upset she was more curious than scared. We watched the dining room light fixture swaying back and forth until the earthquake stopped.

Afterwards I was still half thinking maybe it was just our house because earthquakes don't happen here. I put Julia back in her high chair and looked outside when I went to get her food. I saw people from the office building across the street streaming out of the building, which helped confirm to me that it really was an earthquake. I gave Julia her food and then jumped online to the USGS website to see the stats from the earthquake.

Robert was walking down the hall at work on the way to a colleagues office to go over some things before a conference call with PwC San Francisco. He heard the ceiling making funny noises, walked into the colleague's office and said, "I think we're going to have an earthquake." Right as he said that the building started shaking and the colleague started freaking out a little saying something to the effect of, "An earthquake, what do we do?" So Robert told her to come stand in the doorway with him and they stood in the doorway and waited it out. Afterwards she wanted to know if they should cancel the conference call and Robert told her "No, the earthquake is over, everything is fine. Let's continue on with our work." The people in San Francisco just laughed.

Afterwards when I asked Julia if she felt the earthquake she said simply"yes." When I asked her what it was like she said, "It fall down. Go boom." So apparently she heard something fall.
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