Fault Lines

July 16th, 2010

As reported in Breaking news in the D.C. area (WashingtonPost.com 7/16/10 5:18 a.m.), A freight train? Thunder? ‘Holy cow … earthquake!’ — DC rattled by area’s largest recorded earthquake (MSNBC.com 7/16/10 8:20 a.m.), and Minor earthquake shakes US capital’s movers (AP via Yahoo News 7/16/10 12:30 p.m.), there was a 3.6 magnitude earthquake in the Washington, DC are at 5:04 this morning. The epicenter was in Rockville at 3.1 miles beneath the surface. Tremors were felt 20 miles away, including by yours truly. So far, there have been no reports of damage or injuries. There was a 1.8 magnitude earthquake in DC in 2008 and 15 other small ones in the last 50 some years, but this was the biggest one ever recorded for this area. And on a more ominous note, check out Will The New Madrid Fault Start To Quiver And Quake? (The Wise Buddha 7/09/10), which actually predicted an earthquake along the New Madrid fault (which runs under DC and has caused major quakes in the past) within a two-week period.

“I understand in this area for a lot of people it’s ‘holy cow!'” I think people tend to forget that we’re near a fault line around here.” — Matthew Castelli, 40, of Fredericksburg, Va. (AP)

Like other DC area residents, I was woken today

By a low rumbling (what I at first couldn’t say).

As the house started to shake,

My initial thought was “earthquake.”

I’d experienced one before elsewhere

(A 4-pointer, to compare).

I checked for a big passing truck, but there was none near.

I dismissed the earthquake idea, since I thought we didn’t get those here.

That’s not quite true, since in the last half century,

There have been 16 small quakes in and around DC.

I’m a long-term DC resident, as any regular reader knows,

And in 25 years I never felt any of those.

Some were barely noticeable,

But today’s was the 2008 quake’s magnitude’s double.

Will the Religious Rightists explain the earthquake this morning

As a sign from God or heaven-sent warning?

Surely, this rare event means that the Dems are wrong,

And that if we continue, God will strike us down before long.

One thing that’s certain about life here on the New Madrid fault:

The earthquake this morning was Obama’s fault.


Here’s your theme music, Shake, Rattle & Roll by Elvis Presley.


Here’s some additional reading for kids (or adults that don’t like to read longer grown-up books): Earthquake in the Early Morning.

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