All Shook Up

This is a discussion on All Shook Up within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Not Elvis Earthquake. About 2:00 PM US eastern time, in Virginia. I'm about 60 miles away from the epicenter. Ground ...

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    439

    All Shook Up

    Not Elvis

    Earthquake. About 2:00 PM US eastern time, in Virginia.

    I'm about 60 miles away from the epicenter. Ground and building shook pretty good for about 10-20 seconds.
    A few things fell of shelves.
    What really surprised me was the noise. Sounded like a large bucket loader was driving around inside the building.
    Lots of sheet metal in the walls and roof to rattle.

    Only second one I ever experienced. First was in New York many moons ago. But only about half
    as strong as this one. Many around here were shook up. First one for them.
    Last edited by megafiddle; 08-23-2011 at 05:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    9,596
    I was about 25 miles from the epicenter and it really shook the building. At first we thought it was a train and then realized there are no train tracks close enough to our studio to cause that kind of rumble. It started as a low rumble and then turned into a mild roar as it peaked. We left the building ASAP since there was nothing to get underneath of and I noticed the large panes of glass on the front of our building were waving around like water even though they are about 6.5 mm thick. No damage or casualites except some computer equipment that shook and fell to the ground. I'm quite concerned about possible hidden structural damage to various buildings and infrastructure. One of the bridges had a big chunk of concrete come off of it and several others are being checked for less obvious damage. Quite strange to go through that and it felt like the entire building I was in was about to come tumbiling down but thankfully it did not. It was a long quake with about 25 to 30 seconds at its peak magnitiude of 5.8 and 6.0 closer to the epicenter.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    439
    That sounds very similar.

    It's strange that the noise is what really got my attention before the ground moving. It was only after,
    that I thought of how much the ground was actually moving. Maybe it was because I was too busy
    moving myself.

  4. #4
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    7,510
    They had a special bulletin here. Thank goodness it was nothing major and no one got hurt. That's one of the most densely populated regions on the globe. I got goose bumps when I realized this. Ugh!

    In fact, thank goodness it happened. The 5.5 (right?) earthquake was nothing to worry about and it released a lot of energy that could otherwise be now still building up for a devastating disaster in years to come. Would you agree?
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  5. #5
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    9,547
    It was felt in Ontario Canada too... probably at greatly reduced intensity but my house shook for about 40 seconds and things were waving around and moving on the tables... no damage though. The apartment building next door emptied out in a hurry and pretty soon the whole neighborhood was having this mass discussion about "What just happened?" .... Evreyone was ok, no surprises, we were almost 800km from the epicenter.

    A couple of local news stories were explaining that East Coast temblers tend to be felt over very large areas... but wow.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    439
    5.8 I believe. I have been hearing that 5.8 on the east coast can be stronger than 5.8 on the west.
    Something to do with the difference in the plates. I guess the seismographs measure the magnitude
    the earthquake one way and people and buildings see it a little different. Anyway, it definitely got
    your attention.

    The east coast has a pretty big fault line. I experienced one in New York long time ago.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    9,596
    It has been downgraded to a 5.8 and I have seen posts from Californians saying that is a weak quake. However, as others have said and the USGS plainly explains that quakes on the east cost travel a lot farther and are stronger than the equivalent quake in the west. The only aftershock I have felt is a 4.2 that happened at about 8:00 p.m. (8:04 according to the USGS) and that shook the house a bit but only lasted for about 5 to 8 seconds. The quake today lasted a lot longer than that. I certainly felt a lot of up/down motion in this quake but the moment I left the building it was as if nothing was happening and I could barely feel it on the ground. We probably felt it in our building a lot more b/c it sits on a concrete pad which does not want to move....which is a good thing since that would bring the building down.

    I know you are not supposed to try to leave the building in a quake but you really think the desk in my cube is going to hold up? I think not.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 08-23-2011 at 09:54 PM.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Posts
    5,553
    AFAIK, a 5.8 is a 5.8 no matter where you are. It's not a weak quake, but we're used to them out here in California, so it doesn't seem like a big deal. Plus, all our buildings are well designed for earthquakes, so we don't have all the brick structures falling down like you had out there. The main difference between the two coasts has to do with the plates. California is "younger" geologically speaking (this is why the Sierras are higher and sharper, and the Appalachians are lower and more rounded), and has many, many more faultlines and small pieces of plate. Those faultlines act as a damper, as the seismic waves have a harder time crossing them. The eastern part of the US and Canada is more like one giant piece of rock, with relatively few faultlines and separate pieces of plate, so the wave travels much longer distances. There's also several types of seismic waves that affect how an earthquake feels (sharp and jolting, or rolling). They have different wavelengths, speeds and energies, so the depth of the epicenter and your distance from it affect what type of waves you feel. In my very non-scientific experience, the shallower a quake, or the closer I am to it, the more of the sharp, jolting waves I feel, and the deeper or farther away I am, the more "rolling" I feel.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Posts
    5,553
    @VirtualAce: Being mounted to a concrete pad on the ground is more likely to collapse your building, since the energy travels straight up into the walls. Many of the big buildings here are built on what amount to giant springs and rollers. That actually improves the building's ability to withstand an earthquake since the ground can move under the building with some of the energy being absorbed by the springs, and the rollers allowing the building to "stay in place" while the ground moves under it. In actuality, the building still moves a great deal. The top floors of a high rise can move dozens of feet side-to-side, while the bottom floor stays relatively stable. A bit scary the first time, looking out your office window feeling like you're sailing the high seas, but better than the top snapping off and falling to the ground.

Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21