The Great East Coast Earthquake

8/23/2011 - Never Forget

I didn’t get a chance to post earlier about the earthquake. It was just a tiny earthquake for 15-20 seconds, but still extremely rare for this part of the world. Being 17 floors up the building definitely rocked a little bit. Hard to miss, but it wasn’t violent or anything like that. I was on a conference call which continued through it with no incident.

My first thought was construction in the building or across the street, but about half way through I realized without noise that wasn’t possible. My next thought was the fault lines near NYC, which I’ve heard about a few times before. I knew seismic activity is not unusual for NYC, but to the degree that we can feel it is very unusual. I suspect most never knew about those faults, but I like science 😉 . Oddly enough I wasn’t 100% wrong.

An immediate search of Twitter turned up reports of vibration in the city. A few seconds later turned up reports of the same thing in Philadelphia 94 miles away from NYC (which confirmed seismic activity in my head). Meanwhile my inbox had a bunch of reports about Pentagon evacuations and other happenings. A perk of working with a large news organization is being fed news 24×7 (it’s also a bad thing). Confirmation of an earthquake came what seemed like seconds after that. This all took place in a matter of a minute or two.

All together it took just a minute or two to find out the full story. I actually had the full story well before building management had it. They didn’t even know what happened and I knew it was about a 5.8. Amazing if you really think about it. Back in 2003 with the blackout it took considerably longer for substantially less information. Granted having electricity helped. Cell phone networks were still largely unusable for a short time after.

The jokes going across the net were quite amusing (as shown above).