After we quelled the ninja zombies* and other madness that the “east coast earthquake” (as the media outlets are labeling it in fancy graphics), I had some time to reflect on what happened and what I observed.
1. People in the DC area are still on edge from 9/11 – especially in federal office buildings. I take nothing away from them. Especially in a situation where you might be in a basement (as GorT was at the time) with no visual cues outside to know what’s happening.
2. Unless one has traveled or lived in areas that experience earthquakes, it’s a odd feeling that can be a bit unnerving. You get the usual description of heavy machinery, trucks, construction equipment until it doesn’t follow a normal Doppler-effect for the acoustics and the duration (in this case 30-40 seconds) doesn’t match the possible scenarios.
3. The land-use planners for the DC metropolitan area over the last 50 years should be drawn and quartered. Yes, in 1960 they might not have perceived the types of traffic patterns we face today, but they eliminated multiple bridge crossings and other road options. I’m not advocating paving over all of the metro region – but anytime we have an out of the ordinary event (9/11, earthquakes, blizzards, etc.), traffic becomes a mess for hours. Mass transit is fine until the infrastructure to get to and from the higher speed (rail) access points and the cost models are examined.
4. Damage – most people cite minor damage, if any. Pictures on the walls are crooked. Items on shelves fell and maybe broke and maybe some windows broke. The National Cathedral sustained some damage to one of its flying buttresses and 3 of the 4 spires on its highest tower are damaged. It appears that the Washington Monument has some cracks in the upper pyramid section and remains closed. It is not leaning as some early reports from likely unreliable sources purported. There are some reports of masonry damage to some office buildings and a number of schools, more towards the epicenter, are closed today for a wise inspection.
5. It has yet to be seized by any politician or agenda-driven organization. I suspect we’ll get some of that in the upcoming weeks.
The bottom line is that the area is safe – get back to work.
* Note that if this is a total non sequitur for you, you need to follow the Gormogons on twitter and get the full experience of a Gormogon twitter storm.