Thursday, June 24, 2010
Doggone it! We experienced an earthquake yesterday, and I missed it.
It was a fiver on the Richter scale, so it's not major in world terms, but it's pretty major for our region — the Ottawa Valley. It was felt pretty far away too: there are even reports from Michigan, Ohio and Chicago — a long way, indeed.
Our town lies about a hundred kilometres from the epicentre near Val-des-Bois, Quebec, which is a tiny settlement, not even shown on the map below.
Being so near the epicentre Val-des-Bois did suffer some damage such as the collapse of this small bridge over the Gatineau River. ↓↓
All in all, however, not much damage was done in the region, and there are no reports of anyone being injured. For the most part, the effects were limited to shaking and rattling of dishes etc, and some items were knocked off shelves in grocery stores.
I am a little miffed about missing it because we don't get many quakes that can actually be felt. We do get dozens per year, but most are imperceptible. I was outside mowing the grass and stumbling about with a vibrating machine, so I failed to perceive the quake. In the hazy periphery of my brain, I think I felt a glitch of some sort but didn't attribute it to a quake: perhaps a stumble on my part or heavy piece of machinery rumbling by. Although I am sorry to have missed this one, I can't say that I am anxiously looking forward to another because the next may not be as benign.
Note: Local tremors are the result of intraplate as opposed to interplate quakes. There are old fault lines in this region where movement can occur. Oddly enough, the effects of our more mild quakes, as opposed to the more powerful ones near plate boundaries such as the West Coast, can extend quite far because there are fewer barriers and faultlines to disrupt the waves.