The Tiny Temblor of ’11

24 Aug

Right at 1:51, Washingtonians I follow on Twitter announced that there had been an earthquake there:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/106061360194002944″%5D

Interesting, I thought.

Even more interesting was two minutes later when the old, historic brick building in which I work began to shake and rumble, its bricks and windows creaking from the strain of infrequent and unexpected movement. For about 5 – 10 seconds, everything shook and thanks to the Tweets from Washington, I was instantly able to rule out a passing truck or explosion.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/buffalopundit/status/106061635336146944″%5D

The 5.8 magnitude quake centered in Virginia was felt from Georgia to Quebec, all of which are situated on the same tectonic plate.  Almost instantly, Twitter lit up with jokes about how the quake was Obama’s fault (parody quickly became reality on that one), that people should text “DONATE” to a number to donate a $1 to buy East coasters another latte to replace the one they spilled, and this picture began appearing, showing the “devastation” from the quake:

It wasn’t a big deal and no one got hurt, which is good. It was one of those shared experiences that helps people flex their humor muscles and try to get a superswarm badge on Foursquare (no dice).

Did you feel it? Did you know what it was right away? Where were you at the time?

7 Responses to “The Tiny Temblor of ’11”

  1. Bbill August 24, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    It was said yesterday: Finally the Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves.

  2. RaChaCha August 24, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    Was at a meeting at the Belle Center, in a modern cinder block building, and don’t remember feeling anything at the time (meeting was moving toward a 2PM wrapup). If I had, I probably would have just written it off as the 2 moi yummy empenadas I had for lunch acting up.

    As for the tall and narrow Dun building, considered Buffalo’s first steel frame tall building, it was designed with extra diagonal bracing and buttressed with thick exterior masonry to help it resist strong Lake Erie winds. Don’t know whether architects Green and Wicks also had earthquakes in mind.

  3. Leo Wilson August 24, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    I saw this article’s photo of horrifying devestation posted by a guy named Mark… same source, Alan? BBill, I nearly lost my bagel over that pic, you should have posted a warning!

    When more sensitive coworkers in the Main Place Tower spoke feeling a temble, I was just confused. I didn’t notice a thing.

  4. Hank August 24, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    I’m about an 8 hour drive south of the epicenter. My office building shuddered for about a minute, and at home my wife said the glasses in the cupboard and hutch were moving around for 2 minutes–my house is “stickbuilt on site” part on slab and part on crawlspace. Folks I know that live in mobile homes or modulars experienced things falling off shelves and things falling off the walls.

  5. Brian Wood August 24, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    The white guy flat on his back is a favorite drinkin’ buddy, Paddy O’Furniture.

  6. BuffaloGirl August 24, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    I was outside having lunch on the patio at The Chocolate Bar and nothin’! Although people in my office said they did and the window washers across the street at the Rath Building were swinging in the breeze!

  7. Dave in DC August 24, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    I work in College Park, MD, and I have to admit it was rather uneventful. It seemed like there was an initial tremor, which prompted me to get up and see if anything looked amiss. That was when I felt a larger shake and I knew it was an earthquake. I grabbed my keys/phone/wallet (in case I wasn’t going to be able to come back into the building) and joined the masses headed for the stairs.

    Outside I kept reloading the local newsradio’s website on my phone, and after a few minutes they finally had a brief note saying that there was an earthquake. A few people put their car radios on an started hearing about the magnitude and epicentre. Then after 15 minutes of nothing else happening we shuffled back inside and went on with our days. Didn’t even get to go home early like the Feds.

    The biggest story around DC was the subsequent traffic and Metro problems. Everyone decided to leave DC at the same time, which always leads to problems on the roads. As for Metro, they had all trains going 15mph so they could check the tracks. No closures, just sloooow. Apparently in some of the downtown stations they had to control the flow of people going into the station, kinda like a metered onramp to a highway.

    As for damage…. nothing at home at all. The most noteworthy damage in DC is the National Cathedral, which lost a few stones and adornments from its towers.

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