Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The earth moved - rocking the suburbs.

It's not often that I'm sitting in my lounge and the earth moves, but that's exactly what happened last night.  It's probably old news that Victoria was hit with a 5.3 earthquake and the epicentre over in Moe is still feeling aftershocks.

I heard a rumbling and then a slight shudder which felt very odd.  Then there were several bangs and shakes - it felt like a truck was repeatedly ramming the building.  It was very violent and, well, unsettling.  Nothing fell off my walls. I hoped that it might shake my resident mouse out of hiding, but that didn't happen.

Once it was clear it had stopped and nothing was broken I went outside and ran into my neighbours.  We were all looking for confirmation that other people had felt it too and we weren't having some strange hallucination.  We checked to see if anything had fallen off the building and checked to see that everyone was okay.

My downstairs neighbour bid us goodnight with the comment, "It's been nice bonding with the neighbours over a natural disaster!"

I went inside and opened up Twitter and turned on the ABC radio.  My twitter feed confirmed there had been an earthquake.  I was able to gain information and quickly knew the strength of the quake, how widespread it had been.  I received enquiries to check on my welfare from far and wide.

Once it was clear that there had been nothing serious, the twitter conversation turned to humour and a discussion about the challenge twitter poses to mainstream media.  We were all gathering information from each other and knew the story long before stories started to appear on media websites.  That's hard to compete with.

Callers to ABC radio sounded confounded and reached for the words to describe their experience.  One man was quite animated in his description, saying that it was "incredible!" and "The big TV in my room?  Well, it moved a little bit!"

Apparently the quake is one of the strongest experienced in this area.  I've felt a few tremors before, but nothing like last night.  Compared to somewhere like Christchurch, this was a little tickle.  It was enough for me! I can't imagine how frightening it must be to be in a prolonged, strong earthquake.  

Have you ever experienced an earthquake?

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