Monday, April 05, 2010


I felt yesterday's earthquake. I was sitting right here at my computer. I suddenly got a sensation that I initially interpreted as lightheadedness, to the point that I wondered if I was about to pass out. But that didn't make any sense, as there were no circumstances that would have triggered it, and I didn't have other accompanying symptoms, such as irregular or slow or rapid heart rate, sweating, nausea, etc. I moved my head around to see if it was vertigo, but that did nothing. I finally concluded that it had just been wind shaking my apartment building; it had been a very gusty day, after all, with weather reports filled with high wind advisories.

But within a few minutes, I started seeing Twitter messages about an earthquake in northern Mexico, and more from people in both Vegas and southern California about having felt it. Soon, news reports from the mainstream media outlets were reporting that the quake had been felt as far away as L.A., Phoenix, and Las Vegas. It was only then, in retrospect, that I concluded that that was what I had experienced. Google Earth tells me that I'm about 275 miles from the epicenter.

That was only the second earthquake I have sensed. The first was in 1987 when I was living in Illinois. The New Madrid fault gave one of its periodic shifts while I was playing ping-pong in the rec room of my church. Again, the only experience I had to judge it against was midwestern windstorms, so that's what I assumed it was. I ran to the door to look outside, and was puzzled when I didn't see things blowing around. Several of us that were there playing only gradually decided that it must have been an earthquake--a hard conclusion to reach, given their rarity in central Illinois. But the news that night confirmed it.

Who says nothing exciting ever happens to me?

1 comment:

bastinptc said...

Look out when the New Madrid decides to really let one pop. Last time it changed the course of the mighty Miss.