Thursday, June 24, 2010

Earthquake in Ontario

Yesterday, I was sound asleep after a night shift, when I woke up to see the posts of my bed shaking. It was around 1:45 p.m. and it lasted about 30 seconds. I wondered first what was happening, if maybe a train or big truck was going by. I looked out the window but saw nothing. I could hear the wall vibrating. By the time I was awake enough and recognized what it was, it was over. There would have been no time to go outside, as you're supposed to. I guess it's kind of like watching an approaching tornado, there's a fascination and a sense of unreality. I looked out again and saw my neighbours had come outside and were talking to each other, probably to confirm it was real and not imagined. I went downstairs and asked my mom if she felt it. She was in the laundry room and hadn't noticed a thing. It made me wonder if it was real, but then it's not surprising to have the house shake more on the upper floors. I called my husband at work, who confirmed it was real. A neighbour there had come in to say that her bird started flying around and around in its cage when it happened. I guess they sense these things. Then, from the news I found out it was a 5.0 earthquake centred north of Ottawa. In the GTA there was no damage or injuries, but closer to the epicentre there was structural damage, like roads and bridges and some chimney's crumbling, but thankfully, no loss of life. I remember there being tremors like this once in the 80's and once in the 90's in Toronto, so that's why I figured it was an earthquake. It's not unheard of. We're apparently near a fault line that runs near the Ontario-Quebec border. Of course, the jokes I've heard since then on twitter were that it was Quebec's attempt to separate from Canada, that the earthquake triggered tsunami warnings in the fake lake built for the dignitaries of the G-20 summit this week, and that there was widespread disappointment in Toronto, that it was not the epicentre of the quake. The rest of Canada says Toronto thinks it's the centre of the universe, and they may not be too far off in that.
It was a bit of excitement, especially because there were no tragedies associated with it, so people just started asking, "Where were you when it happened?" and "Did you feel it?" My youngest was on a bus and missed it, and my oldest was working in a barn at camp at the time.
That same night there was a tornado (F-2) just northeast of where my eldest works. Fifty families were left homeless. They live in a trailer park, which is often the 'target' of tornadoes. Tornadoes happen occasionally in Ontario. We're in the tail end of tornado alley which sweeps up through the American mid-west.
The fact that the earthquake and tornado happened within 24 hours of each other, had me scanning the sky for a plague of locusts.

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