Thursday, June 23, 2005

Whole lotta shakin'?

A quarter-inch of snow is a big deal in L.A. or San Francisco — or anywhere with year-round allergy seasons. Those of us in colder climes (Chicago's winter motto: "The wind blew the glaciers away.") are amused that such a minor event is considered newsworthy.

Californians feel the same way about pitiful Midwestern earthquakes. This story ran recently on the Trib site:

Illinois, other states feel 3.9 earthquake

Items compiled from Tribune news services
Published June 21, 2005

CLINTON, KENTUCKY -- A small earthquake centered in western Kentucky rattled residents across parts of Illinois, Kentucky and three other states Monday morning. No damage was reported.

The 3.9 magnitude quake centered near Clinton hit at 7:21 a.m. and was felt in southern Illinois, western Kentucky, southeast Missouri, northwest Tennessee and eastern Arkansas, said Diane Noserale, spokeswoman for the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Va.

It was the second quake to hit the area in a matter of hours along the New Madrid Fault System, Noserale said. A 2.7 magnitude quake Sunday in the same area was felt in southern Illinois and Kentucky.
As a native of California, I feel an obligation to point out that 3.9 is a pretty small earthquake. It feels like a truck going past. Many people won't even recognize that it's an earthquake. And 2.7 is so tiny that USGS calls it a "micro earthquake." I can fart harder than a 2.7 magnitude quake.

This is what real earthquake activity looks like:

CA/NV earthquakes

That's just for the past week.


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