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Not if, but when do we get the big one

Ironically — and frighteningly — the Oakland Tribune ran this article, Monster quake could hit Pacific Northwest, about 8 hours before today’s severe 6.5 earthquake hit Central California. My husband was on a conference call to colleagues when it happened — suddenly they said, “We have to cut this call short since we have to evacuate the building quickly.” Up here in the Northwest we haven’t had anything big for a long time — in fact, I have no idea when we last had a real earthquake here — but this article in the Oakland Tribune is anything but reassuring regarding the consequences (especially for Seattle) if or when we do get one. I wonder how much solid granite is under my house? Lots, I hope: the thought of liquified earth gives me the creeps…

I hope all my friends in California are all right. Perhaps it’s a good thing if you’re getting these small-to-severe quakes that nonetheless still leave you standing. I gather it means the plates are releasing without building up pressure to the point where a release would get you a 9-point-something quake, which is why it’s sometimes a bit scary that things have been so steady around here. Well, we’ve all been warned, but we listen selectively because we really like it here and want to live in Lotusland, regardless.


  1. Last week, to demonstrate how easy it was to become a “credible” paranormal predictor, I said to my wife: “Within the next seven days, there will be a seismic event of 6.0 or greater magnitude” somewhere in the world.

    Unfortunately, I did not publish my prediction on my site, but I will say that there will be another such event within seven days of this prediction somewhere in the world.

    Comment by Joel — December 22, 2003 #

  2. P.S. We’re fine. We didn’t even feel it.

    Comment by Joel — December 22, 2003 #

  3. Glad to hear you’re ok, Joel. I sure hope your prediction for the next event turns out not to happen in densely populated areas with old infrastructure. Maybe an earthquake on Antarctica?

    Comment by Yule Heibel — December 23, 2003 #

  4. When Old Faithful REALLY blows . . .
    . . . the Dept. of Homeland Severity will probably claim ’twere terrorists 🙁

    Comment by Stu Savory — December 23, 2003 #

  5. I didn’t even know about it until I turned on the TV to wtch the evening news….

    Comment by maria — December 23, 2003 #

  6. Once you’ve been through enough quakes you don’t even pay attention to them anymore.

    Comment by Jones — January 3, 2004 #

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