Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shakey Wakey

Yep, Tuesday August 23, there was a 5.8 earthquake based in Mineral, VA (isn't that a perfect name for an earthquake epicenter?).

There was some of talk about how the animals could feel the trembler 15 seconds before people and while some of it has merit (why yes, elephants can hear the lower sound range and feel vibrations in the ground that humans can't), I don't think it is a super-power (except maybe for the toads in Italy). I think that humans aren't paying attention. AND we wear shoes. We can't feel those subtle vibrations with shoes on.

I was waiting to pick up the girls at the elementary school; it was the end of the school day. For 30 seconds before the earthquake hit I was feeling the wall next to me vibrate. Just a little. Enough for me to think about it, ask the person next to me, have her lean up against the wall, pause, then agree that it was shaking. I told her it was disconcerting and then the real earthquake hit and I leapt 10 feet away from the concrete wall toward a brick wall.

Not 100% smart, from one wall to the next, I suppose.

The kids were inside, and Q5's teacher immediately opened her door, I rushed in and asked if I could take Q5. Yup. Then we walked through to C6's class, where we poked our head into her classroom. All was calm, the lights were off (they were using the visualizer, I later found out. I'm still unclear of what that is), so I thought the teacher was just helping them stay calm. Which she probably was. I thought it was so under control that I didn't need to pick up C6, but a friend, M6 spotted us, told C6, who told her teacher, who told her she could go. And C6 caught up with us in the hall.

I was freaked out, but rational about it. Q5 had just seen the TV in her classroom shaking (which she later claimed "The TV was shaking and it fell down on the ground. Luckily nobody was hurt." Nobody was hurt, but that is because the TV didn't fall off the wall). In C6's classroom some things had fallen off the shelves (books, I guess) and pictures went askew. But, again, nobody hurt. But C6 would not let go of my hand the whole way home, she just wanted to GET HOME and hole up in her bedroom and freak out.

We didn't let her do that, of course. I texted about 10 people and asked them to come to the park. Turns out C6 wasn't the only freaked out child. Getting to the park for some distraction was a great idea.

No pictures, but just to let you know C6 has calmed down about the earthquake and ramped up her fears about the impending Hurricane Irene. More on that in days to come.

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