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#230372 - 08/23/11 07:43 PM Re: 5.8 Quake in Washington DC area [Re: Dagny]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Dagny
Most buildings here just were not built with any thought given to earthquakes.

That's a tricky issue for you folks affected by this earthquake. I have seen a number of reports where people were fleeing out into the street during the shaking.

The bulk of injuries in an earthquake in places like the West Coast occur in that zone between inside and outside a building, due to falling debris. On the other hand, when the buildings are quite vulnerable to earthquakes, like many of these old buildings, especially the brick ones, there's also the chance that the building could partially or wholly collapse in a strong quake. That's a tough call.

If I were there, I would probably revert to my West coast thinking that it's safest to stay indoors if I were already there. Fortunately, it doesn't sound like anyone had to survive any major structural collapse. But y'know, building collapses and building facades crashing onto the sidewalk were a fact of life when I was in NYC even without an earthquake, so it's really a crap shoot.

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#230373 - 08/23/11 07:52 PM Re: 5.8 Quake in Washington DC area [Re: Bingley]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3556
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Bingley
Please, nobody tell my girlfriend. She thought I made the earth move. That will be our secret. O, here she comes. Signing off in haste, DB


LOL!!!
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#230374 - 08/23/11 08:00 PM Re: 5.8 Quake in Washington DC area [Re: bws48]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1903
Loc: Washington, DC

Another issue with building evacuations that I'm hearing from peops and reading about in the Post: being unable to retrieve valuables like purses and car/house keys when buildings are closed subject to safety inspection.

Ever since the anthrax attacks of 2001, I do not ever leave my purse behind -- not for fire drills or anything else.

This episode will be reminding a lot of people about the lessons they learned on 9/11 and during the anthrax situations.

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#230376 - 08/23/11 08:06 PM Re: 5.8 Quake in Washington DC area [Re: bws48]
powerring Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/25/08
Posts: 32
I live in Lake Monticello which is about 25 miles from the epicenter in Mineral, VA. At 5.8, this was definitely the biggest earthquake I've experienced. The last earthquake of any size that occurred here was a 4.5 in 2003. Oddly, I was in exactly the same spot in my home office during both earthquakes. Beyond some things falling off of shelves, I had no damage. Cell phone service was impacted on both the Verizon and Sprint networks, presumably due to overload.

It's amazing to me that the recent terrible earthquake in Christchurch, NZ was a 6.3 for comparison. I guess the differences in the ground structure made a huge difference in the damage. We were fortunate. If nothing else, maybe it will make everyone prepare better for Hurricane Irene, due in a few days.

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#230377 - 08/23/11 08:16 PM Re: 5.8 Quake in Washington DC area [Re: Dagny]
GettingThere Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/27/02
Posts: 35
I was on a remote assignment inside the Capitol when the earthquake struck. Nice feeling being inside a 200-year-old building when there is moderate ground shaking ! eek

There are a few lessons that I learned from this experience (my first quake):

1) I need to create a non-bladed, backup PSK. I left my PSK behind because Capitol Police are very leary of blades. Luckily, I didn't need it, but I sure felt vulnerable without it.

2) Don't count on cell phones. Service went down almost immediately, either due to volume or interruptions. I am on Verizon, and had visible bars, but could not get through to others with different services. Texts were spotty as well.

3) A burner bike at work is a good idea. Traffic, usually heavy mid-afternoons, was snarled. It looked like 9/11 all over again. Tunnels and bridges were closed, and train travel was overcrowded and crawling along on suspect tracks.

4) We were very fortunate. Had the shaking lasted longer than the fifteen seconds I experienced, things could have been much worse. The older buildings seemed to have held up well, though.

I hope everyone in the area is okay.

Mark

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#230378 - 08/23/11 08:25 PM Re: 5.8 Quake in Washington DC area [Re: powerring]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 812
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
The Richter scale can be confusing because it is logarithmic and not linear, and most people (me!) think in linear terms. So a 6.3 earthquake releases something like 43 kilotons (of TNT) of energy while the 5.8 (first report)Virgina earthquake released something like 7.6 kilotons. A big difference. Thus, the Christchurch quake released something like five and a half times more energy than the Virginia quake. I'm always confused by log scales, so I had to look it up here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richter_magnitude_scale

Of course, there are thousands of variables of how much damage is done in any particular place. Old saying: In real estate, location is everything. E.G. some buildings in Baltimore MD, 45 miles north of DC had their facades (Brick) fall off, in all or in part, while here in Annapolis, there are no reports of such damage.

There is one report that the Washington Monument is "leaning".
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#230379 - 08/23/11 08:53 PM Re: 5.8 Quake in Washington DC area [Re: GettingThere]
Bingley Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1280
Originally Posted By: GettingThere
There are a few lessons that I learned from this experience (my first quake):

1) I need to create a non-bladed, backup PSK. I left my PSK behind because Capitol Police are very leary of blades. Luckily, I didn't need it, but I sure felt vulnerable without it.


Welcome to your first quake! So when you said Capitol Police don't like blades, do you mean the police in DC in general, or just around Capitol Hill? Do they allow scissors, even the safety kind for kids? Some sort of cutting tool seems necessary.

Da Bing

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#230382 - 08/23/11 09:11 PM Re: 5.8 Quake in Washington DC area [Re: Bingley]
GettingThere Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/27/02
Posts: 35
I apologize, as I should have been clearer. The Capitol is policed by its own force, and they take a dim view of weaponry. They give me the fisheye when I carry large screwdrivers. Since I need their good graces more than they need mine, I do not try their patience. I'm sure that safety scissors would be fine, and it's a good idea (thanks). Finding a pair that is sufficiently sturdy, yet small enough for a PSK, is the tricky part. Any suggestions?

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#230383 - 08/23/11 09:19 PM Re: 5.8 Quake in Washington DC area [Re: bws48]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1903
Loc: Washington, DC

Just back from another walk. A house on the next block lost the top of its chimney. Several instances of cracks in masonry.

DC is 80 miles from the epicenter.

Also interesting is the thought process everyone I talked to went through during the quake. Not one person I've talked to immediately thought: "Earthquake!"

That was maybe the 3rd or 4th possibility that came to their minds. If there was any construction project nearby, peops tended to think the shaking was related to that. One friend of mine in Virginia thought something had fallen on her house.

2nd or 3rd possibility was: "Terrorism"

Finally, after checking the Internet: earthquake

There are now news reports of pipes bursting, ceilings falling, at least one residential building in Maryland condemned.

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#230386 - 08/23/11 09:40 PM Re: 5.8 Quake in Washington DC area [Re: GettingThere]
Bingley Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1280
Originally Posted By: GettingThere
I'm sure that safety scissors would be fine, and it's a good idea (thanks). Finding a pair that is sufficiently sturdy, yet small enough for a PSK, is the tricky part. Any suggestions?


If it's gotta fit inside an Altoid box, then I guess you may be down to grooming scissors. I guess your cover story would be you require a good manicure even when civilization has fallen apart. You may have to be totally flamboyant when giving this excuse to make it convincing.

If you allow for something a little bigger, perhaps some sort of forged scissors could work. They are entirely made of steel, and I suppose if you have a screwdriver you can take them apart and use them as blades. Here's a small one:

http://www.amazon.com/Gingher-G-4PS-4-In...824&sr=8-14

or maybe try the smaller of the high-quality Mundial sewing scissors:

http://www.mundialusa.com/sewing_individual.html

I guess your cover story would include stitching together fetish leatherwear in a Mad Max situation.

I personally haven't had experiences with any of these except the grooming scissors. And yes, I require manicure in earthquakes, floods, zombies, etc. You can't take apart and put back together a 1911 pistol otherwise.

Da Bing

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