Saturday, April 16, 2011

Really, Mother Nature? Really?

2011 so far in my neck of the woods: 

Floods - check. 
Cyclone - check. 
Earthquake - check. 

This afternoon when I was lying lazily in bed reading, at 3.31 pm there was an earthquake. 

Source: Courier Mail

I'm sort of ashamed to admit that I didn't recognise it as an earthquake. I looked around, ready to yell at the dog for scratching so hard that the floorboards were shaking. But, hang on, that usually doesn't make the bed shake. 

Then I heard a plane going overhead. But, hang on, they usually have to be a lot bigger and a lot closer to rattle the house. Thanks, RAAF, for your many training exercises. 

And then I noticed that the mirror on the wall was shaking as well. And that the dog and cats were freaking out. 

Hmm, I thought, a poltergeist? Because, seriously, that's where my brain took me. 

But no, it was a 5.4 magnitude earthquake, with the epicentre about 130 kilometres away. And I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't recognise it because I used to live in New Guinea, where we felt earthquakes a lot. In Tok Pisin they were called guria, which means "to shake". And when my sister and I got woken up by them we used to run around the house, excitedly screaming "Guri-oory come!" 

Not this time, though. This time I wondered what the heck was going on for the thirty-odd seconds it lasted, then I chalked it up to an overactive imagination and went back to my book.

Because we don't have earthquakes in Queensland. Seriously, I cannot stress that enough. We put up with yearly monsoonal flooding and the threat of cyclones, and when we're not having flooding we're having droughts, and the trade off is that we live on a nice solid bit of tectonic plate and don't have earthquakes

Are you listening, Mother Nature? I'm not liking you very much this year. Lift your game.



  1. It's been a long time since I felt an earthquake. Not fun at all. Mother Nature has been a bitch to that part of the world lately. Probably menopause. Let's hope she chills soon or takes some hormones. ;P

  2. Thanks, LG! Yep, we've been fairly smashed this year so far, but not as badly as some of our neighbours. What was silliest is that I really did think I'd imagined it until I got a text from a friend. I sent back: "Earthquake? Where?" because we just don't get those here! Still, everything's still standing and everyone's okay, so hopefully that will be the last one we see for a long time.
    And yes, Nature needs to chill!

  3. LOL that made me laugh that your first thought was 'Poltergeist!' :D Glad it wasn't too serious where you were though.

  4. we had a (tiny) earthquake in my part of the UK a few years ago, and we NEVER get them. I honestly thought a lorry had hit the house, and went outside to have a look. Didn't realise it was an earthquake till everyone else shared there lorry-stories in the pub that night...

  5. Thanks, Girl Friday! I've obviously seen too many horror movies!

  6. Hi Ben! I understand completely! We also NEVER get earthquakes, so my frame of reference was completely off. It did not even occur to me that an earthquake was a possibility.

  7. I remember the first earthquake that happened while I was at school. All of the students being from California brushed it off as a small one and kept on working. The teacher, not from California, freaked out. He screamed at us to get under the desks, panicked when the class started laughing from under our desks saying things like "This is not funny! This is an Earthquake! EARTHQUAKES ARE SERIOUS!" I think it was barely a 5.

    That you thought it was a poltergeist makes you 10x more awesome. Sorry to hear the pets weren't as amused.

  8. Hi Steph! At 5 I was also used to quakes...turns out I've forgotten a lot since then. Your poor teacher!

    And, yeah, when the mirror started rattling I immediately thought evil demonic force. I think I need to take a break from my Supernatural DVDs. They are severely clouding my judgement. Also, I'm starting to think that men in flannel shirts who drive hotted up cars are more attractive than they actually are.

  9. Heh, can't say I ever felt an earthquake. When the last serious one (as in, can be felt by anyone) happened, I was in my mother's womb. XD

    We should lodge a complaint at mother Nature. We had snow yesterday. Granted, I'm in a north-ish location but it's past mid-April. Snow that stays on the ground should be forbidden.

  10. Claudie, as soon as I can figure out where to send it, I'll be lodging that complaint! And yeah, it's spring for you guys, isn't it?

  11. I snorted out loud when you called mother nature a bitch. It was so perfectly dead panned in my head. :-)

    I've never felt an earthquake, but I suspect I'd panic if I did. At the same time, we experience so many tornado warnings, watches, and sirens during the spring and fall that no one even bothers to get up anymore when they go off. New to the state, a coworker once broke into tears when the sirens went off and was further freaked out when I continued checking my email. It's not that tornados aren't serious, they are, it's just that it's hard to get too worked up about them anymore. I'll get to the basement as soon as I write this last email, you know?

  12. Thanks Sommer!

    If I was your co-worker I'd panic as well. Tornados are scary! Give me a cyclone any day. At least you get a few days warning, and you have a reasonably good idea where they will land. I can't help but wonder why anyone would live in a tornado area. If I was an early pioneer seeing one of those, I would have been: "Martha, get the kids back into the wagon. We're outa here."

  13. Sommer Leigh said...
    "I snorted out loud when you called mother nature a bitch."

    HA! So did I. Perfect timing on that line, Jen.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...