Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Eastern Canada Earthquake (Guest post by Canada)

Reader Canada has written a guest post about the recent earthquakes in eastern Canada


Ontario residents speak of the June 23rd earthquake as if it were as if they are very rare. No one thinks living in the  Great Lakes St. Lawrence lowlands to be a big earthquake zone.


Even as a geographer in the region I seldom give local earthquake probability much thought.

Natural Resources Canada's page states:

"This region has a low to moderate level of seismicity when compared to the more active seismic zones to the east, along the Ottawa River and in Quebec. Over the past 30 years, on average, 2 to 3 magnitude 2.5 or larger earthquakes have been recorded in the southern Great Lakes region. By comparison, over the same time period, the smaller region of Western Quebec experienced 15 magnitude 2.5 or greater earthquakes per year."



Due to the due to the resonance of the Canadian shield rocks which our area of Eastern North America sits on, we may feel the quake a longer distance away form the epicenter than people on North America's West Coast do.


I am very disappointed I have never felt an earthquake in the region. This time I was driving and didn't feel anything move. I didn't expect any aftershocks to be significant, and rather resigned that I missed by chance for about another  decade in the region. I was eager to read about a bigger earthquake close to home on the US Geological survey site


I really wanted to click on the  Felt report form for Community Internet Intensity Maps However some people did feel and  newspapers and bloggers were all over it.

People were even posting this on their facebook pages

"Picture of the devastation after earthquake in Toronto"  and  drawing many comments.


Another friend posted as a status update


"Well folks I guess it finally happened. Quebec is finally separating. Earthquake"

Even a day later, the earthquake was a hot topic about "where were you and how did it feel".  (We haven't had this much where were when talk you since the blackout in summer of 2003)

I confess that I remain slightly jealous of those who did have the experience to feel it.  

Friends of mine wrote:


"Shook our house (rural Paris) . . . thought I was hallucinating, either that or a very large truck hit the side of the house. No damage but it was an unearthly feeling".


"suddenly the house was shaking and I said to myself why is my house shaking. I got up and looked out the window and everything seemed normal. It was kind of cool as no damage done"


"just survived earthquake number 2 in my life! first one was worse... 6.5 on the rictor so this one was a piece of cake! lol."

it was a scary experience. I heard a loud rumble outside. I thought perhaps my air conditioning was giving up the ghost and I stood up to shut it off. As I rose to my feet I started feeling dizzy, lightheaded and off balance. The rumbling noise increased, my dog started growling and mirrors on my wall started shaking. My wine glass collection hanging under my cupboard started clanging together, and I exclaimed out loud a word I will not repeat and realized we were having an earthquake. It was 30 seconds I am not soon to forget."

One friend went further and thought of Haiti and blogged:


"Soon the quake here will become a distant memory, and news about the G8 and G20 summits will fill up the news wires and twitter lines. But in other parts of the world, like Haiti, the earthquake is still around them every moment of everyday.

The smells, the sights, the loss, they are tangible and real.


I am still praying for Haiti, still donating and still being reminded to work out my faith with an ever present reminder of the people and places that are worlds away"


Now that is a great connection of physical geography, human geography and cultural geography!
How easily we forget about the physical geography and geology around us, and once the cultural and human geography passes out of the media spotlight... we forget too.
My friend urges people to keep donating to Haiti as do I.


Here is a link to my previous blog contribution re the Haiti Earthquake

American and Canadian Charities for Haiti and for Other Needy Places


Lest we forget about "the Haiti Quake"


Adrian said...

I felt it in Rochester. The USA had just made it into the 2nd round of the World Cup - we all though "first the USA succeeds in soccer, and then upstate NY has an earthquake... the world is ending!"

Canada said...

Thanks Adrian.

Ah the wonderful resonance of the Niagara Escarpment. You will remember the moment and always associate the two together.

I'm jealous about you feeling the quake