I felt the earth move under my feet
With apologies to Carol King, this wasn't any feeling due to a near terminal adolescent infatuation with someone.
A few minutes ago we had some sort of earth tremor. The entire Dope Manor was swaying back and forth as if it were being rocked by some unseen hand. And believe me, it was a VERY unsettling feeling.
Various things that are suspended in my room (Baccarat crystal chandeliers, etc.) were swaying back and forth. My first reaction was that the foundation of the house was caving in. But the next moment I realized that if it was the foundation, it wouldn't be rocking back and forth, it would be depositing me (and the house) in the basement.
After maybe three minutes, the motion stopped just as subtly as it had begun.
It was as if you were on a gently rocking boat, which isn't by itself unpleasant. But when it's your entire house that's doing the rocking.... it's a bit unnerving.
This happened at 4:37 a.m. today (Friday) according to my clock.
We sit relatively close to the New Madrid fault, named for a town in Missouri that must be on top of it or something, and it's a fairly major fault and has been active in the past. Geologists say that it is capable of producing some major shake, rattles, and rolls.
As a matter of fact, I learned here that it actually produced three major quakes in 1811 and 1812 near New Madrid (so THAT'S where it got the name.)
They are among the Great earthquakes of known history, affecting the topography more than any other earthquake on the North American continent. Judging from their effects, they were of a magnitude of 8.0 or higher on the Richter Scale. They were felt over the entire United States outside of the Pacific coast. Large areas sank into the earth, new lakes were formed, the course of the Mississippi River was changed, and forests were destroyed over an area of 150,000 acres. Many houses at New Madrid were thrown down. "Houses, gardens, and fields were swallowed up" one source notes. But fatalities and damage were low, because the area was sparsely settled then.
Sounds very intense, to say the least. New Madrid, MO is 350 miles as the crow flies from the Quad Cities.
Of course most sane people were probably sound asleep at the time and oblivious, but did anyone else happen to notice it?
Weird, wild stuff.
This just came out from the A.P. minutes ago:
5.4 earthquake rocks Illinois; also felt in Indiana
3 minutes ago
WEST SALEM, Ill. (AP) — A 5.4 earthquake in Illinois has rocked people awake as far away as Indiana, surprising residents unaccustomed to such a large temblor in the Midwest.
The quake just before 4:37 a.m. was centered 6 miles from West Salem, Ill., and 66 miles from Evansville, Ind.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
West Salem, IL is 250 miles straight line distance from the Q.C.s.