The earth moves

The US Parks Department reported some minor cracks on the pyramid at the top of the 555ft monument. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The unknown and unexpected is always scary…as we have learned this year, the Richter scale is very relative to proximity and depth so 5.9 could ‘mere’ or ‘frightening’ – if unexpected, more so in an area not noted for its earthquakes, probably closer to ‘frightening’ especially if in buildings without windows and/or a long way up…my favourite balcony near the top of the Holiday Inn Rosslyn doesn’t seem quite so appealing now…

Irregular activities needn’t be man-made nor that destructive to be destabilising…to sow that seed of doubt in things that only minutes before may have seemed safe and secure…to wonder what will be next (it’s probably named Irene!)…now is probably a good time to consider some bottled water and canned food (and a can-opener) for the basement and you really never do know…

A couple of elements of light humour though, from the quake, courtesy of Michael Yon…

Breaking News: it’s just been established by the administration that the DC earthquake occurred on a rare and obscure faultline, apparently known as “Bush’s Fault”.

Got an email from a friend that the Pentagon evacuated, and I see reports saying the same. Get back to work you Pentagon shammers! If the military panics, everybody panics. The Pentagon took a direct hit from an airliner and is still there. The Japanese will be laughing at the Pentagon. Get back to work you bunch of Pentagon ninnies. We have wars to run.

So while West Coasters might laugh, much as we all sniggered at Auckland’s ‘No lattes were spilled‘ 2.78 attempt, this was a very real fright in the supposedly stable DC area and will cause some ongoing inconvenience as buildings are checked for structural damage and robustness – better safe than sorry…

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