Wednesday, February 10, 2010

There Was an Earthquake, Apparently

We got a phone call at 5:30 this morning from Becca's Mom asking if we'd felt the earthquake.

Yeah, apparently there was a 4.3 scale earthquake just one town over. Seriously, the epicenter was just a couple of miles away in Sycamore. It would take me about 20 minutes to drive there from where I sit right now.

Weird. We didn't feel a damn thing. Just slept right through it.

On the WGN News this morning, there were phone calls coming in from people who felt it miles away from here. Becca's Mom lives south of us (the earthquake was north of us, but only just north), and she felt it. But here? Nothing. Hell, there were students in one of the dorm towers who felt it, and I can see that from my window.

My Mom called this morning, too; she lives almost an hour away by tollway, and she felt it, too. Woke her up around 4 or 4:30 this morning. Seriously, there were people hours away who felt this thing. People calling into the news from places like Romeoville and Geneva, which aren't exactly a stone's throw away, saying that the quake knocked over furniture or pictures. And here we are, practically at ground zero, and we feel nothing?

It's just really weirded me out, is all. I mean, Becca likes to display action figures. She's got action figures set up that I've knocked over just because I walked on the same floorboard as them from across the room. We have picture frames and clocks hanging on our wall. And when we were told there was an earthquake, we looked around and nothing had fallen over. Nothing was even out of place. The picture frames were still straight. And Thumper didn't freak out because something was off, and he's afraid of the dark, for goodness' sake.

Why the hell would we be completely unaffected? Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for our good fortune. It's just... weird.

This is almost how I felt when there was that shooting over at the university, which is also very close to me. Earthquakes are very rare in Illinois, though not unheard of. I've been in small earthquakes before, and I know how they feel. But it just seems like this is twice now that I've been close to disaster--no, wait, three times, because there was the tornado that passed over our apartment complex and touched down just a couple of miles away but didn't do anything here but shake the ground a bit and knock our power out for an hour or two. Three times I've sat here (or slept here) and been close to a tragedy or near-disaster and barely even realized it.

I hope luck isn't finite...

8 comments:

Carl said...

It shook the ground here in Naperville! Woke me up too and I thought it was my neighbors slamming doors. I wondered if you felt it so close by.

Derende said...

Happens all the time here in CA - some people feeling the quake and others not, that is. The last small quake we had here, I felt it, but the guy in the next office didn't notice a thing.

Most of the time I think the gaps are due to the different geological formations around the area creating some "shadows". I'm not a geologist and don't know the proper term for this.

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

I grew up not far from the epicentre of this quake, but somehow I never managed to find out that Illinois was geologically active until I went to Southern Illinois University and learned about the massive quake in the New Madrid seismic zone in 1812. Still, I had to move to the other side of the world to actually feel one.

Hopefully, they'll continue to remain small!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Boy when the wife says the "Earth didn't move" she means it...HELLO!

Are you sure it was a quake and not a hiccup in the Space Time Continuim? Just asking because I got woken up by Lincoln again. AGAIN!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I suggest you get one of those little brandy barrels for the bunny to wear in case there is another crisis.

Jason said...

Derende is correct; the shock waves that create ground movement can be deflected by different formations and materials below the surface. If your neighborhood is sitting on clay, for instance, a quake would have a different effect than if it was on sand or stone. Where you are inside your building can make a difference, too. My mom has often talked about feeling a small quake when I was a kid, but I was in my playroom in the basement and didn't notice a thing. (She was upstairs in the living room at the time.)

Utah is pretty active, and we have quakes fairly often. I've experienced them twice that I remember noticing. It's a very, very weird sensation, kind of like when you have a sudden start and are trembling from the adrenaline flow.

Glad no one was hurt, at least.

THE APOCOLYTE said...

I experienced the earthquake in question...
I was awake and working on my computer in Cherry Valley, IL when the quiet early a.m. moments were suddenly disturbed.Approximately at 3:50-55 a.m. I heard something that could be described as some elehant running through my house across my upper walls and ceiling... that is what shook the most, as it shook me enough to make me spin around instantly to see what was about to burst into my room...i had never been through an earthquake, and they said this was a first for this area.

the reason some felt and heard more than others is due to faults in the earth, and where these fault lines run...perhaps buildings close to each other may experience varied levels due to where the fault runs (under one and not the other)...

Beauty Salon said...

An Earth-quake causes heavy loss. Experts call for taking adequate precautions to minimize losses. Alarmed by the recurrence of quakes during recent years, should be taken as a signal for a major earthquake.