Monday, March 1, 2010

The earth is a shakin'!

After Haiti, I thought about it. After Chili, I really started thinking about it.

Living on the Pacific Rim in an earthquake zone, the likely potential of an earth shake up never quite leaves your worry sheet.

Oh sure, the Pacific NW is beautiful and mild and we all those cute ferries and Orcas and stuff. But we also happened to have built this beautiful city right on top of the most active fault line on the planet.

Not very good planning. But we are humans after all, what does that have to do with long term planning? During those early rough and tumble Seattle days, they were way to busy selling camping and mining gear to the gold feverish at an obscene profit to think about long term. In fact, if there is anything about the NW that I can pin point is that they didn't do much thinking about long term at all. Like the I-5 double decker viaduct built on marshland for example. Oh, and the monorail.

Hense back to imminent big one.

I sometime have nightmares about earthquakes. That I am somewhere and the earth starts flopping around like someone is jumping on the bed. It is terrifying. Normal everyday objects become missiles and I wake up with that sick feeling in my stomach.

I haven't had one in a while. But reality is filling in the blank space for me nicely.

I was certainly around for the last good sized one here in Seattle, I guess it was 2000. I had just gone through the Battery Street tunnel, yet another place you wouldn't want to be during a quake, and was heading up to Greenwood. I watched people sidewalk surfing. That is exactly how it looked. I watched telephone poles swaying. I looked around at the other people in the cars and, yes, they were terrified too.

There really isn't much you can do. Strap your house to the foundation. Know which wall in your house is a bearing wall.

Pray if you're the praying type.

I am not.

But I do get the idea sometimes that the earth is mighty pissed off at us. Couldn't blame her really with all the shallow regard we have been heaping on it for say... a very long time.

My thoughts are with my human neighbors is Haiti and Chile. It might just be use someday.

1 comment:

Bluestem said...

I remember how I found out about the 2000 earthquake. My brother IMed me at work and said, "I'm ok!" and I said, "Oh, well, that's nice." or something. So, I knew he was safe before I even knew to worry. That's when I truly understood the power of not having to rely on phones in times of natural disasters.

I don't think I want to sidewalk surf. We just had a tiny earthquake out here, but I slept through it.

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