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Sunday, August 26, 2012
An Earthquake Anniversary
One year ago this week, the Great Virginia Earthquake of 5.8 occurred on August 23, 2011. Since then, more than 10 million dollars worth of damage was found in a neighboring county, and their fairly large local school had to be demolished due to the serious amount of damage. The local real estate market here has been decimated, due to fear of buying following the quake, and the damaged and ever lack luster economy. This is said to be the largest earthquake in this region ever to afflict the entire East Coast of the US. The Washington Monument in DC was damaged, and so was the National Cathedral in DC and buldings attached to Jefferson's Rotunda at the University of Virginia. It also shut down the North Anna Nuclear Power Station for quite a time. Significant shaking was felt even in high rise office buildings in Toronto. (No, Virginia does not have a Toronto. This is THE Toronto in Canada !) The quake was also felt in Florida. More than 450 aftershocks have been detected since, and many of those continued to do damage to chimneys, roads, houses, wells, schools, and monuments. Significant changes also occurred to ground water levels following this quake.
On a personal level, I now have higher radon levels within my home following the quake. I have a lower well static water level now. My water was slightly muddy for six weeks afterward and still has more iron in it than it did. My livestock is now perennially neurotic following so many aftershocks. I am not joking when I say the cat could use some treatment for post traumatic stress.
Seriously though, this is the year in which many families locally became intimately familiar with FEMA, their propaganda, and their iron grip once you have enlisted their aid and appear on their rolls. This is also the year many people particularly in Louisa County, Virginia simply walked away from homes and mortgages when their homes simply split in half, the result of that one sunny Augist day. This was also the day when people thought I might not be a naysayer, but that I might actually know something when I talk about preparing for both natural and man-made disasters. Personally, I wish there had been another way.