Thursday, December 28, 2006

Seasonal Earthquakes

On Boxing Day there was an earthquake in Scotland and another near Taiwan. It is as if the earth is following our calendar and periodically feeling the need to shift. I feel convinced there was one last year on the 26th, and of course the year before that there was the dreadful Tsunami. Just a coincidence, I know, but a little strange.

I have often wondered what it would be like to be in an earthquake and a couple of years ago I felt a slight earth tremor in the night. I was just drifting off to sleep when I had the sudden and definite sensation that I was moving sideways. I woke properly and heard Hodmandod Major coming out of the bathroom so i got up and spoke to him. He seemed to know exactly what it was - apparently the doors of the bathroom cabinet had juddered for a few seconds. That was it my unspectacular experience of an earthquake. It was probably something fractional on the Richter scale but my curiosity was satiated. That was quite interesting enough.

I read this morning from a Reuters report (I shan't bother linking - Reuters' addresses are so long the links never work) that people in China know that snakes can predict earthquakes. Before an earthquake sleeping snakes wake in their nests and squirm away in such a panic that they hit their heads against walls. I wonder if this is for all sorts of earthquakes or just some and why the snakes wake. Do they feel the earth more than we do? There must be something they can sense that we cannot. Fascinating stuff.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had no idea that Scotland had experienced this on Boxing Day!
A friend of mine lived in LA when some tremors hit in the late 90s and she had no regrets when she returned to NY...
The pictures of the tsunami devastation that were around this year brought back some memories of two years ago. The damage was immense. It's good that the media (and Bill Clinton) has alerted the world that the majority of the money raised is yet to be spent and the rebuilding programme is still to see some major inroads. Paxman interviewed two people from the Red Cross on Newsnight and reasons were given, such as delays through the need to prove identity of survivors and their right of ownership of the relevant land. Perhaps more money needs to be directed to this activity to see that the rebuilding is done sooner. Losing everything is bad enough, but knowing that money is sitting in an account and waiting for the go ahead on rebuilding two years later must be adding insult to injury.

Thu Dec 28, 08:57:00 pm  
Blogger Susan said...

I live along what is called the "Ring of Fire" on the Pacific Ocean. We experience fairly frequent minor earthquakes here and we've been living under the threat of impending doom for some time. The experts say that our area is due for a major shake on average every two hundred years and we are now 'overdue'.

The last little earthquake that I actually felt happened a few months ago and it sounded like a heavy truck rolling down the street. I could do without such interesting experiences...

Fri Dec 29, 07:10:00 am  
Blogger Kay Cooke said...

I'm with Susan - we too live on the 'Ring of Fire', which may sound exciting, but is rather scary actually when you know that at any time we could fall into the sea ... kind of. I've experienced some scary shakes, ratttles and rolls in my time.
Have enjoyed catching up on your posts Clare - trust you have a good new year.

Fri Dec 29, 11:24:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are very interesting on earthquakes, here and elsewhere.

Ring of Fire is lovely, isn't it? But not something one would want to wear.

What about "judder": is this something in normal UK vocabulary? It's a word that DWJ uses a lot in her books...

Sun Dec 31, 05:45:00 pm  

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