Monday, November 7, 2011

My First Earthquake

I've lived in Kansas all 29 years of my life and have been through countless numbers of tornados but only actually seen one. 
In school we practiced fire and tornado drills sometimes on a monthly basis.
And when I switched insurance policies in January, I actually chuckled when the lady offered me earthquake insurance at $20.00 a year.

It was 10:55pm according to my clock.  Cale and I were watching KAKE Channel 10's news after the KSU vs OSU game (which was a GREAT game btw).  I went over to the entryway to lock the front door.  It gets stuck every now and then and you have to pull the doorknob down and jiggle it a little to get it to lock. Just as I locked it I heard the windows start rattling and pictures on our shelves shaking.  It took me a couple seconds to register what was going on.  For some odd reason I thought that I was still jiggling the doorknob.  It was sooooo weird.  That's when the house started trembling and the floor was vibrating.  Almost like a really loud crash of thunder that lingered for a good 30 seconds.  It only took me about 5 seconds to realize we were having an earthquake.  I knew Oklahoma had had one the day before and some people felt it in Kansas but the chances of us feeling another one (I thought) were slim to none.

It ended up being a 5.6 earthquake that hit approximetely 180 miles from where we live.
The reason we felt it from so far away evidently is because of the consolidated rocks underneath Kansas and Oklahoma.
It's described best as a bell according to Paul Carusa from the  U.S. Geological Survey:
"In California, they have a "bell" that's full of cracks, and so when they get an earthquake there, it's not felt very widely. It's like a thud.  In Kansas, the rocks underneath the ground are very old,  Plus, Kansas has fewer faults underneath the ground, especially compared to California.  In Oklahoma and Kansas, the rocks are very consolidated, so they transmit that energy really well. When you hit that "bell", it rings," and the 'ring' then spreads waves for miles."

It was small compared to other earthquakes you hear about.  But regardless .... it's something I don't know if I'm quite ready to experience again.  Definitely not something bigger anyway.  At least with a tornado you usually have some sort of warning.  This was just something completely unexpected and nothing I had control over.

I wonder if earthquake insurance is still $20.00 a year?

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