Today’s Earthquake

It was a few minutes after 1:50 PM; some sources say it was 1:51 or 1:53 PM. Maybe the exact time depends on the location.

I was setting up some R code to assemble data for a fancy analysis when I felt a mild shaking. At first, I thought it was somebody in the hallway or perhaps in the floor immediately below us moving heavy equipment. But I couldn’t imagine what could be so big. Our building doesn’t have any wet labs — it’s all computers and office workers — so it couldn’t be, say, somebody moving in a new industrial-sized freezer or a centrifuge or an MRI scanner. I briefly entertained the thought that maybe it was a road crew on Executive Boulevard doing something rather destructive.

Then the shaking became too pronounced to be anything mundane, and I realized it was an earthquake. A co-worker wandered out of his cubicle with a puzzled look on his face and I said “Earthquake!” to him. We skedaddled down the staircase and out the building, along with everyone else. After about 20 minutes, we started filtering back into the building. Nobody was hurt, and there was no apparent damage to the building.

The rest of the afternoon was fairly quiet, partly because many people had left for the day. Federal employees had “liberal leave” and were allowed to go home. But we contractors didn’t have liberal leave, so we put in a full work day. At least, I did.

At home, I found only a few items out of place. Some DVDs had fallen off the top of my old TV, and a wooden statuette/mannequin had toppled off of its high perch.

Magnitude 5.8 – VIRGINIA

(the link I gave originally stopped working!)

Earthquake — red MTG card