Archive | August, 2011


27 Aug




23 Aug

On August 23, 2011, a MASSIVE earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 occurred. The epicenter was located in Mineral, Virginia and USGS reports that the quake was four miles deep. According to news reports, a quake of that magnitude has not occurred in Virginia since the late 1800s. The earthquake could be felt from as far away as Toronto, Canada, even though the epicenter is only approximately 90 miles south of Washington, D.C. There is a large African community along the East Coast (Northern Virginia, Maryland, Bronx, NY) and everyone along the coast could feel it.

Personally, as a Ghanaian raised in Arlington and Woodbridge,Virginia, I have NEVER felt an earthquake. A few months ago, there was an earthquake in Maryland, around 5 a.m, and the quake could barely be felt in Woodbridge, VA. However, this earthquake was undeniably scary. I don’t know where you were, but I was located in the Fredericksburg, Va area when it occurred, which is 1 hour south of Washington,D.C. I was sitting as my desk, reading a paper, when I felt a shake. Sometimes the floor shakes if someone heavy is running, so I ignored it. However, the shake intensified and then I noticed that everything around me was shaking. At that point, I yelled, “OH MY GOSH!!!!” and stuck my 5’8” body under my desk, as the place continued to shake. As I sat under my desk wondering about the strength of my desk, should the ceiling collapse, the images of the Haiti earthquake started running through my mind. Before I could get to another image in my mind, I heard my boss yell,” GET OUT OF THE BUILDING NOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWW”. Well, shoot, you don’t have to tell me twice!!! I grabbed my bag and ran outta there, past people who were just taking their time. Only when I got outside did people confirm that an earthquake had just occurred? An earthquake? In Northern Virginia? Since when?!?!? I couldn’t even call anyone because the phone lines were jammed ( I guess we need better telecommunications infrastructure). I’m sure you all have your earthquake stories too!! I was speaking with my friend, and he stated that he was at his desk, when all of a sudden he felt shaking. He thought maybe the delivery man was delivering a heavy load. But then he saw his computer and printer shake, and once the paintings started falling off the wall, he knew he was in trouble and started running for his dear life because he was located on the 6th floor of his building. The earthquake was scary because no one knew what it was—earthquake, bombing—what??—no one knew what was going on!!! And we definitely don’t “prepare” for earthquakes in Northern Virginia like they do in California, so most people did not know what to do—I know I did not!!! And if you have never experienced one, like most people on the East Coast, it leaves you scared and speechless.

Needless to say, the earthquake was SCARY!!! Mineral, Va is located nowhere close to Northern Virginia but the force and strength was so strong. The aftershocks have not occurred yet and I am NOT looking forward to it.