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Friends in Need When Nature Hiccups, Natural Disasters forum
belleraphon1
post Jul 29 2008, 11:23 PM
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Sincerely hope all you UMSFers on the West Coast are OK! Read Emily's blog....
http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00001576/

Widfires and now an earthquake... scary...

Concern from an Ohioan who only worries about getting snowed in once or twice a winter season.

Craig

p.s. With global climate change this forum may get a few posts or two in this century!
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mcaplinger
post Jul 29 2008, 11:32 PM
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QUOTE (belleraphon1 @ Jul 29 2008, 03:23 PM) *
Concern from an Ohioan who only worries about getting snowed in once or twice a winter season.

Portions of Ohio are, of course, in the New Madrid Seismic Zone.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Madrid_Seismic_Zone


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nprev
post Jul 29 2008, 11:37 PM
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Thanks for thinking of us, Belleraphon; no biggie, we're fine. It was one hell of a jolt (and lasted quite awhile!), but apparently no serious injuries or damage AFAIK. Emily said she's okay as well.

I was on the 5th floor near downtown, and it shook crazy; can't imagine what the people in the skyscrapers felt. Thinking I can get a fancy condo on the 60th floor or above somewhere here for cheap over the next week or so... tongue.gif


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belleraphon1
post Jul 29 2008, 11:38 PM
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"Portions of Ohio are, of course, in the New Madrid Seismic Zone."

Point well taken.....mcaplinger blink.gif

Craig
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belleraphon1
post Jul 29 2008, 11:44 PM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Jul 29 2008, 06:37 PM) *
Thanks for thinking of us, Belleraphon; no biggie, we're fine. It was one hell of a jolt (and lasted quite awhile!), but apparently no serious injuries or damage AFAIK. Emily said she's okay as well.

I was on the 5th floor near downtown, and it shook crazy; can't imagine what the people in the skyscrapers felt. Thinking I can get a fancy condo on the 60th floor or above somewhere here for cheap over the next week or so... tongue.gif


Your quite welcome, nprev.... glad you and Emily are ok!!!!

As mcaplinger pointed out, we Ohioans are on a fault. Back in the 80's, I can actually remember a slight jolt, the floor kinda weaving for a moment, but no biggie.

Funny you should mention skyscrapers. I was talking about that with my office pal. We were trying to imagine what it is like to be on the 60th floor of a skyscraper gone weavy! VERY SCARY.

Craig
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nprev
post Jul 29 2008, 11:55 PM
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Well, I'll puff up my chest and act all brave here, but California doesn't have anything on Alaska when it comes to quakes. I felt at least two of this magnitude when I was there from 2001-2004 (one shook me out of bed), and there was a really bad one in 2003 right near the center of the state that shook Anchorage for a full two minutes...actually saw vehicles rocking back & forth on their wheels during that.

The good news story from all this bravado is that modern building codes really are pretty sound for dealing with these things. My house in Anchorage (built in 2001) suffered zero damage, nor did any of my neighbors. I can't imagine what sorts of things you have to do to a skyscraper to make it earthquake-survivable, but clearly whatever they are, they work. (With you on the 60th floor observation, though; not a happy feeling, for sure!)

Now, Ohio has tornadoes...MUCH scarier, IMHO! Went through one of those in New Jersey (of all places) in 1997, do not wish to repeat the experience.


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volcanopele
post Jul 30 2008, 12:05 AM
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Meh, I lived in Kansas for 13 years and saw a grand total of ONE tornado, and that was a puny EF-0. I think it blew some deck furniture around.


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belleraphon1
post Jul 30 2008, 12:21 AM
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Have lived in Ohio my entire life....

Only tornado I ever "experienced" missed me by a hair.... if that is what it really was, and I did not know it until fterwards. Was living in an apartment complex at the time, third floor, corner bedroom. Had the window open during what I thought was going to be an intense thunderstorm (black cloud effect), and the air suddenly whoosed out......sounded like a wind tunnel being sucked through a vaccuum. Afterwards a friend said they saw a small funnel cloud lift up just before it would have nipped by corner bedroom...

I have seen plenty of awesome black clouds and thunderstorms wrack with hail and bluster. And I actually LOVE a good winter blizzard... my daughter and I would get all wrapped up cozy and walk around the block as the snow wailed....

But to have the ground dance under my feet... well... THAT SCARS ME!

Craig

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nprev
post Jul 30 2008, 12:47 AM
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Ah, ground-dancing ain't so bad... rolleyes.gif

Here's my tornado story. Out on the flightline @ McGuire AFB on an early June evening. 10-12 C-141s lined up & chained at the nose gears to the ground in anticipation of bad weather. I looked over to the West, to the edge of the base where there was a line of trees. The sky above them was black, red, yellow, green...(no direct sunlight! Electrostatic/flourescent effects?) Oh, crap.

The expediter truck came roaring up & picked me up, because there was a tornado warning. I jumped in with my toolbox, along with 20 or so other people & their tools, just riding on top of them (little bumpy). We blasted back to the squadron building just as the rain began.

Once there, me & a couple of other people who were stupid (okay...we wanted to smoke) stuck our heads out of one of the side doors to do so. It was pitch black out, and there were these things that looked like small black dust devils whirling around outside. There was a small tree about 10 ft. (3m) in front of the doorway, and as I watched one of the "dust devils" hit the tree...and broke it in half!!!! I said "TORNADO!!!!", and dived back inside.

Once the all-clear was given, we went back out to the flightline. All the nose gear chains had broken. Some of the planes looked normal, still facing forward, but their nose gears were sideways: they'd been blown one way, then blown back. Several aircraft weren't so lucky; their noses (radomes) had crashed into the wingtips of adjacent planes. A transient C-5 had a #1 engine that was flat on the bottom and a bent left wing; the tornado had rocked the plane so hard that it had impacted the ground. Spookiest of all, the treeline at the edge of the base had a neat cutout about 300m wide where the damn thing came through and hit the base. All told, it missed us being out there by about 2 minutes at the most.

Are tornadoes scarier then earthquakes? To me, oh, hell, yes!!!!!! unsure.gif


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belleraphon1
post Jul 30 2008, 01:16 AM
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nprev... good story...

Nature is awesome and impressive...... and I think that is one of the reasons we all love planetary astronomy.
It hits us somewhere at our core. We cannot help ourselves but be scared and love it at the same time.

Don't know if any of the above makes sense ... but I am constantly impressed by nature's power....

Actually probably just had one too many beers... long day (but not as long as you folks in CA) and I have one cat with her tail wrapped over my wrist while another is doing the keyboard shuffle....

You all take care and know we UMSFers are here for each other.

Craig



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ElkGroveDan
post Jul 30 2008, 01:18 AM
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Oh come on Nick. I disagree. Do I have to tell my earthquake story?


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nprev
post Jul 30 2008, 01:43 AM
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Yes, you do!!! Give it up, big guy!


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Juramike
post Jul 30 2008, 03:30 AM
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I was in my lab on the 6th floor of the UC Berkeley chemistry building when the Loma Prieta Earthquake hit (7.1 on the Richter scale) back in 1989. We had boiling solvent stills and gas cylinders rattling back and forth. The doorjamb I was standing in cracked away from the wall about an inch and a half. I still remember the look of the woman across the hall as her frozen smile transformed into scream. Our floor's balcony had a chilling view of the Marina district fires across the bay flaring in San Francisco when the gas mains went up. We didn't find out about the Cypress Structure collapse until much later.

That whole experience kinda sucked. I was a tad jittery for a few years after that.

[Later the 1991 Oakland Firestorm came within few miles of campus and torched my old neighborhood. I remember racing in to campus to back up multiple copies of my graduate thesis. Yeah, I been through the "shake and bake".]

-Mike


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nprev
post Jul 30 2008, 03:35 AM
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Ye gods, Mike! That had to be beyond terrifying for everyone. (Chilling image: woman with a fixed smile morphing into a scream. You could write an entire novel around that image...and should.)

It really isn't the quake itself that's scary,IMHO; it's the aftermath. You just don't know what the hell might have happened until it's over; you're quite powerless to do much at all when it's in progress, because priority #1 is to make sure that your own head, limbs, etc. don't get shmushed during the event itself.

In retrospect, the lack of power to control your own fate is the worst aspect. Get in a doorway, sure, but THEN what?


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Juramike
post Jul 30 2008, 04:24 AM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Jul 29 2008, 11:35 PM) *
In retrospect, the lack of power to control your own fate is the worst aspect. Get in a doorway, sure, but THEN what?


I think the most frightening part was not knowing when the shaking was going to stop intensifying.

The thought "OK, that was fun. We can stop this now...." went through my head after the wall cracked.

The other thought of "Uh oh, is this going to be the big 'Game Over'?" also started to run through my head (right about when the woman started screaming).


The entire quake lasted only 15 seconds, but it seemed much, much longer. I distinctly remember feeling the two waves. The initial up and down motion of (ha, ha, another earthquake!) to the side-to-side swaying-on-a-train wave of (Oh crap! This is IT!!).

I think at some point the primal subbrain was starting to run the show and allowing my higher brain functions free reign of paranoia and fear (or just recording the moments for later playback).


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