June 23, 2010: The Ontario Earthquake

Sorry this took so long, I was feeling a little lazy XD

So, I’m pretty sure everyone’s familiar with the earthquake today; either you felt it and freaked out or you heard about it from someone else. Either way, it was pretty freaking freaky. (And those of you that subscribed are gonna have to actually read this post on the actual blog because it’s a long one XD)

For those who haven’t heard Steph’s and my story: we were painting the tech room when it happened. Honestly, I thought at first maybe it was something electrical having a freakout (since we heard little weird noises just before the big rumbles), and when the ceiling started shaking I thought it was something going through the ventilation or someone was doing something on the roof, but when the floor started shaking, I felt real panic.

So we ran out to the hallway to see if the Tech teachers knew what was going on when Mrs Kutschke says to get under a doorway. A few seconds later, the inevitable announcement: “Everybody vacate the building immediately.”

Honestly, the last time I felt panic that real was when my family’s boat’s engine nearly caught fire. But that’s old news.

And this will probably make everyone laugh: guess what my first instinct was.

SAVE THE NETBOOK.

That’s right, I put my $280 baby before my life… don’t worry, I snapped out of it as soon as I spent a second the tech room XD

So after everyone sprinted out of the school like our pants were on fire, I stopped by the corner and, no joke, I could still feel the ground shaking for a few seconds. When we got back inside, even though the shaking had stopped, my trembling hadn’t 😛 But seriously, it is pretty damn freaky thinking that that was enough to make our school, built with many, many cement bricks, shake like that.

For those who are curious as to how violent the school was shaking; since we were tracing stuff with the projector and stuff, Steph had the projector pointing at the corner so she could add the “2010” where our signatures would go under. This is where the projector was pointing before the quake:

And after:

Then I started panicking again. Why? NO INTERNET D: How am I supposed to freak out at people when I have no method to communicate with the super-faraway people? Not to mention we were gonna miss the Germany vs. Ghana game… thankfully I remembered just before kickoff that there was a TV in the room and cable was still working 😉

So what do I think so far?

  1. That was freaky.
  2. I’m extremely thankful there wasn’t any major damage and no one got seriously hurt. As far as I know.
  3. I felt good when I let my bus driver take a detour down to Blair to pick up the poor people who wouldn’t be able to take one of the buses coming from downtown.
  4. Did I mention that was freaky?

You’re probably wondering what I mean in #3, so allow me to explain and share my little anecdote with the world:

So, as a result of the earthquake, all the government workers (my dad included) got to go home because, well, those government buildings are pretty freaking tall and who knows if they’re still safe after being rattled around. And since all the government workers downtown were released at the same time, all the buses would be completely packed so anyone hoping to board the 21 or something back home would be out of luck for the next hour or two.

Well, I was the only one on my bus, so the driver asked me if it was okay with me if she drove down to Blair station to pick up some stranded people and bring them to Place d’Orleans. I wasn’t in any rush so I agreed, in the end the bus wasn’t totally packed with people or anything but there was a fair amount of people who would’ve gone without a ride for a while.

While that’s nice and all, that’s definitely NOT the coolest part of the story. So to get to Blair, we had to go down the Queensway, right? Well, there were a pair of police cars in front of us. Then my driver points out…

THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA AND THE PRESIDENT OF CHINA WERE IN THOSE CARS.

I got a few pictures, they suck, but dude, I was behind the PM and China’s leader at the same freaking time O.O

I’m pretty sure everyone knows this info, but here’s some stuff on the earthquake again: it was something between magnitude 5.0 and 5.5, the epicenter was somewhere 50~75 KM north of Ottawa and in Quebec (my bus driver said it was in Buckingham, my dad read on the Ottawa Citizen that it was in Val-des-Bois), and the earthquake rattled all of eastern Ontario, some of southern Quebec and parts of the nearby states (Michigan and two others, whatever they’re called).

Apparently downtown the pavement was actually undulating. Well, this info is obviously secondhand, I heard it once from my bus driver and once from my dad.

Weeeell, later I wanted to find out why the heck we had a freaking earthquake. I mean, seriously, this is Ottawa. We don’t get crazy magnitude 5 earthquakes. I mean, seriously, we’re definitely not close to the edge of a tectonic plate (the purple blob’s Ontario):

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Turns out there’s this fault line that runs along the St. Laurent; that explains why the epicenter was in Quebec, and just a few KM north of the river. If you don’t believe me, believe Wikipedia:

“The Saint Lawrence River is in a seismically active zone where fault reactivation is believed to occur along late Proterozoic to early Paleozoic normal faults related to the opening of Iapetus Ocean. The faults in the area are rift related, which is called the Saint Lawrence rift system.”

… I can’t believe in the 12 years I’ve been in school having this Geography crap shoved down my throat, I WAS NEVER INFORMED OF THIS. WHAT THE CRAP. I mean, yeah, I spent a few years in Nova Scotia and apparently missed out on another magnitude 5-ish quake in 1998 and we never get anything bad enough to cause major damage, but still, you’d think the province would at least inform students as to why we get random earthquakes every few years.

Well, at least the tech room still looks fantastic 😀

PS: Steph and I made a funky vlog a few minutes after the quake. If anyone wants it, post a comment, I’ll e-mail you download links to the 2 vids XD

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    • The infamous MK XD
    • June 23rd, 2010

    Ooh, I’d like it :P. Lots of fun with the quake. Ya know, we’ve had earthquakes here since 98- just not huge ones :P.

    • Stephie
    • June 24th, 2010

    I want the vids too please! Yup… good times; will always remeber the quake: Good laughs… and panicks? ;P BTW: posted the pics of the finished Tech room on FB (so you need to check them out :D)

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