Friday, 18 December 2009

6.3 …

An earthquake achieves what the law promises but does not in practice maintain - the equality of all men
Ignazio Silon

 

 

At precisely 01:37:46 on Thursday morning, December 17, 2009, Maria and I, almost simultaneously, castigated the dog loudly for scratching himself with such abandon that it was causing the bed and furniture in the room to shake.

The dog lifted his doleful eyes to us, from where he was lying at the foot of the bed, as if to demand we take back our verbal assault. He was right to do so!

The cause of the furniture dancing around the room, the computers doing a fandango, and the most unpleasant rippling effect running through us, was a shift of the earth's tectonic plates about 165 miles (265 kilometres) SSW of our location in Lisbon, that seemed to last for an eternity.

In reality it probably only lasted for 30 seconds. But take my word for it - it sure as hell felt like an eternity!

 

The USGS data map. The USGS data map. 

 

The USGS map states the location as being 'WEST OF GIBRALTAR'. Well, that is certainly geographically correct, but it would have been more helpful if they had described it as being, 'SOUTH OF PORTUGAL'. I am sure that some people on 'The Rock' may have felt the slightest of tremors, but it sure as hell shook us up on the west coast of Portugal!

I am happy to report that there have been no reports of casualties or structural damage.

However, this 'little' incident has once again brought the dormant fear of earthquakes once more to the surface. It certainly makes one rush to an on-line source to re-read information on the 'big one' that struck Lisbon in 1755. That is one I need to blog about because there were some excellent lessons learned and some of the 'forward-thinking' of the men of the day is worth commenting on.

In the meanwhile I shall review our 'plans' should we suffer a major hit. There are simple things to try to remember, which I am sure will completely desert us under stress, so it may well be of value to scribble things down in a prioritised order of action.

Can it wait until after Christmas? Probably.

Could it be required before Christmas? Hmmmm..., hope not!

Sleep tight ...

 

 

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6 comments:

jinksy said...

I once experienced something similar - thought somebody was shaking my divan, as they might a carpet! Very strange sensation, I agree. Hope Christmas and the New Year will avoid either of us being all shook up in a repeat performance!

Fletch said...

Thanks for the positive wish, Penny.

I certainly don't want to be 'shaken', so we think we will abandon the seventh floor flat during the Christmas break for something at ground level in the Algarve ...

Thumbelina said...

Oh wow! 6.3??
That is BIG. Glad there are no casualties. Take care friend!

Fletch said...

Nothing compared to the 8.7 of 1755, but this is one time I'm not in the market for the, "Mine is bigger than yours ..." mindset.

Thanks for the concern, Cath.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

So glad you were both safe... That was no small quake!!! As a former Californian, I have lived through a great many quakes...and I know the danger they pose...hope your computers are okay as well...Do make a plan...I want you both to be safe if another comes along!!! Sending you best wishes!!!! Hugs, Janine

Fletch said...

Thanks for that, Janine.

I always overlook the fact that there are many people out there that have either lived through these experiences, or are currently living them.

List is already prepared:

1. Release birds from cages and fling open windows - they have a better chance of survival on the wing.
2. Grab a sealed bag of dog food and leash dog.
3. Grab a 5 litre bottle of drinking water.
4. Snatch up wallets, passports, keys and a flashlight, picking up warmest outer clothing on way out the door.
5. Leave door unlocked.
6. Head down the STAIRS and DO NOT use the LIFT.

The 'items' are already strategically placed. All this can be tweaked, but I think I've got the essentials ...

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