Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Earthquake

A little before 2 pm, I was listening to a Microsoft techie discuss Javascript, and noticed to my annoyance that the floor was bouncing slightly. I took this to mean that somebody nearby was bouncing his leg; I was beginning to glance around when the co-worker to my right said something. The bouncing intensified, the presenter broke off her talk to order an evacuation, and people began to leave. By the time I had my laptop unplugged, the bouncing had stopped. The half or so of the audience that had not yet left seemed inclined to stay. I plugged back in, and tried the Geological Survey web site; thanks to my unsatisfactory wireless connection, a neighbor beat me to it.

Those who went as far as the street report that the shoppers in the Friendship Heights stores were not distracted from their business, but kept right on. After about 20 minutes, so did the presenters. They did a good job despite the distraction.

I gather from what I hear that the shaking was more intense downtown. Quite a few buildings were evacuated there and elsewhere in the area. I must credit the builders of 5404 Wisconsin Avenue; on the fifth floor, the rolling and shaking was astonishing, but not by itself alarming--the notion that more might be on the way did trouble us.

Given that earthquake magnitudes are reported on a logarithmic scale, I think that 5.8 is plenty to satisfy my curiosity.


  1. Glad all is ok, George. Let's hope the hurricane is similarly mild.

  2. Thanks, Polly. Your house was still standing the other night when we walked down Varnum. We'll check again after the hurricane is over.