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East Coast Earthquake

Updated on September 24, 2012
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Jeannie has been writing online for over 10 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—hobbies, opinions, dating advice, and more!


I Feel the Earth Move...

As many of you know, an earthquake occurred in Virginia earlier today at 1:50 pm, August 23, 2011. I am looking around on Hubpages and I don't see too many people writing about it yet. So yes, it is dirty work, but someone has to do it. So here I am with my firsthand account of my chilling and amazing earthquake experience. Well, OK, maybe it was not that chilling or really too amazing, but here is my firsthand account of the east coast earthquake experience.

I live in Baltimore, MD. We do not get earthquakes. It simply does not happen. So imagine today, when we started to feel a rumble at work. I was sitting at my desk, and my co-workers and I were preparing for a meeting. Suddenly, I start to notice the desk shaking a little. I thought it was my imagination at first when my co-worker beside me goes, "Do you feel that?" Another co-worker in her office says, "What is that?"

A couple of people got up to stand to somehow "investigate" what was happening. That was when everything started to move. The whole place started to shake and the printer begin to bounce on the file cabinet. I was sure the printer was going over. I exclaimed, "It's an earthquake! It must be a real earthquake!"

It was more amazing than anything else. We don't get earthquakes. Earthquakes are for the west coast, not us. What is this? The shaking stopped, but settled down to a little rumble for a bit. We just stood around for a moment and then people decided to run.

Now, I know that just could not have been the right thing to do. I've never been in an earthquake before, but as far as I know, panicking and running out the building is the incorrect response. However, people started to shout that we should leave. The tremors had stopped and everyone else was scrambling to leave, so I figured I would go, too.

Basically, we stood outside for about 30 minutes. The building managers wanted to make sure it was safe to go back in. No one could get their cell phones to work at first. People were a little freaked out trying to make calls and not getting anywhere. Some people were able to get texts, but not calls. Hardly anyone in this area could dial out or text out. I guess at least we had each other. And at least we no longer had to attend that meeting.

Finally, we learned the earthquake's center was in Virginia, close to Richmond. Reports were originally stating it was a 5.9 magnitude earthquake, but now the reports are still coming in and saying it was a 5.8. There was a number of buildings damaged in the Virginia, DC, and Maryland area. Fortunately, no deaths have been reported as of 4:40 pm.

Currently, there are a number of traffic jams as people try to get home to see if they have any damage at their homes. Also, I can hear sirens constantly going back and forth outside my window. I suppose there is still some chaos out there and possible gas leaks.

What You Are Really Supposed to Do...

If you are experiencing an earthquake, DO NOT run outside. Yes, I have double checked this information, and FEMA says, NO NOT go outdoors. Instead, drop to the ground and try to get under a sturdy table. If no table is available, curl up in a corner and stay put.

Avoid windows and objects that are not sturdy.

Use a doorway for shelter if you find yourself standing during an earthquake.

If you are in bed when it happens, stay in bed instead of trying to walk.

NO NOT use elevators!

Source: FEMA

For Now...

Now, here I sit at my computer hoping for no aftershocks. Apparently, some aftershocks have happened already, but I have not yet experienced anything. I am just relieved I lived through it and I don't feel the need to experience it again. I will also remember not listen to my co-workers anymore. I am glad I at least waited until the tremors ended instead of running like some people did. Just remember, if it happens again, SIT DOWN and DON'T RUN!

Hopefully, everything will go back to normal now. I hope everyone out there is safe and be careful if you are trying to commute. Thank goodness we are all safe for now. We have just enough time to calm down so we can prepare for a new disaster this weekend: Hurricane Irene. Suddenly, it isn't so much fun on the east coast anymore!


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