Oh? Another earthquake? Yawwwn.
How fast I've become nonchalant. At 9:06 a.m. on Oct. 13, 2010 — my first quake, and the second one in Oklahoma since 1995 to get widespread attention — I was not so blase.
I happened to be working at home that morning, in my swivel recliner, and it felt like riding a Tilt-a-Whirl. I jumped up, and the floor still had a swiveling-twisting-rotating kind of thing going on for another few seconds.
I didn't quite freak out. I freaked right up to, but not all the way, out. Facebook erupted and I joined in.
• “Did I just feel an earthquaje???” — see? “Earthquaje.” Clearly, I was rattled.
• “I felt the freaking house/earth twist under me, then boom and dishes rattled. Eames, secondary kitty, looked at me w a wth look.”
• “We should all say a lil prayer for the New Madrid Fault Line!”
After two hours of sharing the near-freakout with Facebook friends far and near, we all freaked firmly back in and I got back to work.
Then, later, on news that it was a 5.1-magnitude quake, second largest in state history (later downgraded to 4.3): “Yowza. ... But let's put this in terms Okies can understand. ... Hmm ... I reckon this might woulda been an EF0 on the Enhanced Fujita?”
That was then. Most of us were earthquake newbies. So last Monday night's quake — 10:01 p.m., 3.9 magnitude — brought just a smattering of Facebook posts, and just one from me:
• “Yessir, the earth herself just hove and rattled those dishes on those shelves.”
See, I've gotten used to seeing earthquakes in the news. They can still be nerve-wracking — and, so far anyway — we've felt nothing like the ones that make Californians scoff.
On Oct. 13, 2010, the phenomenon was so unusual the U.S. Geological Survey started a report with a history lesson:
“Today's earthquake is not unprecedented in central Oklahoma. The area has had earthquakes at least since it was settled. Most of them were small,” the agency posted on a website (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/poster/2010/20101013.php)
Last Monday's quake came just six days after state Insurance Commissioner John Doak recommended that homeowners buy earthquake insurance. And it came just a week or so after the U.S. and Oklahoma Geological Surveys reported that a “swarm” of earthquakes has been rattling Oklahoma regularly since the 5.6-magnitude quake in November 2011. And there was another quake in the wee hours Tuesday.
Let's see if we can make lemonade!
Well, all the earthquakes might make the rest of the country forget about all our tornadoes!
Right. That's like sayin' if you bang your head, you can get over it by dropping something heavy on your toe.
The fact is, although arguing the cause of the quakes is all the rage, we're more or less working them into Oklahoma life. The last two rated a brief in the paper.
Pretty soon, unless there's damage, we'll start to think of them like we do tornadoes that don't hit anything in, say, rural Dewey County: No harm, no foul.