Aug 24, 2011
East Coast Experiences Kevin Bacon-less Tremors
Yes, the earth moved yesterday and the entire east coast went bananas. I thought about writing something about it in the moment, but there was very little to contribute other than "my building is shaking," so I left that nonsense for the Twitterverse. Interestingly enough, earthquake related tweets actually outpaced the quake itself, with reports from DC blasting out to followers in New York and Boston before the tremors were actually felt in those cities.
The effects here in Beantown were slight to say the least. Granted I'm coming off a five year tour of Los Angeles and while I experienced a handful of minor earthquakes in that time, I never went through a really sizable shakedown. Usually it was just the sensation that the earth won't sit still for a minute and all the figurines and picture frames on my bookshelves would move two inches to the left. Even on that dinky scale, Boston's experience was unimpressive (I felt my desk shaking, but I seriously thought it was just the result of my undiagnosed restless-leg syndrome) and by most accounts New York also escaped largely unscathed.
Washington DC, on the other hand, was very close to the epicenter and this morning there are reports of significant damage all around town. Cracks were detected near the top of the Washington Monument, thus the tower has been closed and a 100 ft radius around the base has been cordoned off as a precautionary measure. Repair plans are currently being formulated. The National Cathedral also got hit pretty hard, with reports of fallen gargoyles (pictured above) and some structural damage to walls and flying buttresses. (I'll take any excuse to use the word "buttress" in a sentence, because it sounds like "butt" and I am actually 12 years old.) Luckily the rest of the monuments seem to be largely unaffected, which warms my heart, as my least favorite part of every disaster/alien invasion movie is watching the inevitable destruction of DC's historic architecture.
As the proverbial dust clears, there don't appear to be any deaths or even major injuries as a result of yesterday's tectonic temper tantrum, so at least we've got that going for us. I'm actually kind of jealous of my friends and family in DC, many of whom were immediately evacuated from their offices and retreated to the nearest pub for afternoon pints...you know, to calm the nerves.