Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Earthquake!

Our house shook for a couple of seconds at 9:30 pm on Sunday night. 


earthquake

It almost felt as though there had been an explosion nearby, but we immediately realized it must have been an earthquake. The Christmas tree did not topple and nothing fell off the walls or shelves, but there was no mistaking that we had just felt the ground shake.  I wondered if there would be any type of an aftershock, but we felt nothing.

Earthquakes do happen here in Montana once in a while, but I have only ever felt one or two of them, and those just felt like more of a bump. Curious, I got on Facebook and saw that other people we knew had experienced the shaking as well. According to the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program, it was a 3.4 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter not too many miles from where we live. Not strong enough to do any damage, but significant enough that it did not go unnoticed.



map of eathquake activity
This is a screenshot of the map on the USGS web page of recent earthquake activity.
Just hours after I had this experience, there was a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Tajikistan. That news prompted me to refresh my memory on how to prepare for an earthquake, and how to respond if one occurs. While our house was shaking, I had been too surprised to even move from the couch. When it ended, I simply went to find my family in other parts of the house to confirm that they had felt the quaking as well. Had the earthquake been more severe, I definitely should have acted differently.

The Earthquake County Alliance web page offers a lot of helpful information on how to prepare, survive, and recover from an earthquake. An earthquake can happen anywhere although some places have a higher percentage of seismic activity than others. It is always best to be prepared, so I encourage you click this link and educate yourself in case you ever feel the ground begin to rock and roll!



What to do in an eathquake

Have you ever experienced an earthquake?

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18 comments :

  1. I had an earthquake wake me up once. It was the only one I had ever felt, so it was very disorienting. Luckily it was a small one too, because I spent the whole time wondering what the heck was going on and not doing anything to protect myself. Hopefully had it been a larger one I would have had sense enough to move.

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    1. I must admit that was my thought process as well. "This must be an earthquake" not "Earthquake - I need to protect myself." !!

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  2. Oh. My. Word! I always thought we were comparatively safe here in the middle of the continent. I will have to re-think . . .

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    1. I believe we are on a fault line here Diane - not sure about southern Alberta. And we are much closer to Yellowstone, considered one of the most seismically active places in the USA. My son pointed out that "If/when Yellowstone blows, we are all gonna die." Comforting thought!

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  3. We had one in the southern part of our state last Valentine's Day, but we didn't feel anything. I'm terrified of the sink holes we have a river that flows under our street and it scares me to death that one day it will just collapse. Hopefully I'll land in the canoe! Glad everything is alright.

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    1. Sink holes would scare me too! Keep that canoe handy Rena!

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  4. Yikes! We've had a few decent sized earthquakes here. The biggest was when the boys were about 6 and 3. It knocked things off the shelves, and stopped our grandfather clock.

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    1. Ooh - scary. Were you sleeping or all home when it happened?

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  5. I was woken by an earthquake once, it was a heavy vibration that went from the earth right up through the house, then was gone again. about three seconds. We don't usually get earthquakes here, but I knew straight away what it was. Once it was gone I went back to sleep.

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    1. We pretty much carried on like normal right after it happened as well. It wasn't until I was reading about the earthquake the next day in Tajikstan that I started realizing I needed to be better prepared.

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  6. Wow, so glad it was a small one Susan. We had one in 95 here in Greece in my town and it toopled everything. I was lucky to move here one year later. But, still it is very disconcerting to have the ground shaking under you. And althought I've been here almost 20 years I never get used to it. Sometimes when I'm in bed, I just wait it out and it keeps on going... I've also taken the precaution of removing anything that might stab me if it's hanging on the wall over my bed. A good tip! But yes, I've had quite a few things broken.

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    1. The advice to keep heavy or dangerous articles away from the beds is a good one! I did take that precaution when deciding where to hang pictures when we moved here. Sorry to hear you have had things broken. It must be disconcerting to experience earthquakes with any sort of frequency.

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  7. I have only experience one...it was very small...wondered what the little shaking was until I learned what it was later that day. Glad it was only a small one for you, but that you are prepared!

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    1. Thanks Lori Leigh. I hope to never feel a bigger one :)

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  8. I have felt a couple of small ones. Big ones aren't common here. If we ever do get one, there will be trouble. No-one (and very few buildings) will be prepared for it.

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    1. It is amazining the high percentage of people who have left comments here who have experienced an earthquake of some type. Our world is a pretty shaky place ... and unfortunately that it true in more ways than one.

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  9. Oh man I needed this earthquake kit update nudge. My daughter and I were going to work on it this summer and didn't. We can do it over Christmas. Thank you. I've felt both the ground shaking and bumping type of earthquakes. Found the former way scarier as it seemed to go on and on.

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    1. Despite my post, I am not as well prepared for disaster as I should be either, Kelly. I remember once in Cincinnati, we called an elderly neighbor to be sure she's heard the tornado warning, and she insisted on spending time getting important documents together before heading to the basement. That could have been too much time wasted (fortunately, it didn't touch down near us) - and it was a lesson to me that it is good to have a plan.

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