posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 06:31 PM
Canadians: Be Afraid.
This was a 5.0 quake. In places that get quakes often, a 5.0 is just strong enough to make people think about maybe taking cover if it doesn't stop
in the next 10 seconds. Many people - myself included - can sleep through them. There are almost never reports of damage from quakes this small.
So why be afraid?
There was damage, and some of it significant. Shattered windows in Ottawa, and a bridge collapse seem to be the worst of it so far. But how many homes
suddenly have cracks in the foundation, cracks in the plaster, and shattered dinnerware on the floor? How many water pipes and gas lines have been
weakened? How many underground conduits bent or compressed? Time will tell.
The point is that there shouldn't be ANY damage from a quake this small. If this had been bigger - a magnitude six, for example, judging from the
reports in the media the damage would have been catastrophic and extremely widespread.
Secondly: Panic. The reactions from people on the news are utterly shocking. People sent home from work because they were inconsolable. People milling
around in front of office buildings in Ottawa in utter bewilderment. (Hint: don't stand there. If there is a larger quake, or an aftershock, broken
window glass falling from the building you just left will completely ruin your weekend plans. )
Panic and destruction. From a quake minor enough that kindergarten students in NZ would have forgotten about by naptime.
Be afraid, Canadians. If this is what happens from a minor quake, what will happen when the inevitable medium sized quake hits?