Jan 23, 2011

My Earthquake Experience

A dear friend informed me that an earthquake had hit just west of Scotland today. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-12262293 
 Having experienced an earthquake myself I have great respect for the powers of our Lord and how He can ((((shake)))) things up. 
As many of my followers know, we used to live in North Pole, Alaska.  It's located about 10 miles southeast of Fairbanks.  On November 3, 2002 we experienced a 7.9 quake with the epicenter approx. 70 miles south of us.  I read an article stating it was the largest earthquake ever reported in the interior of Alaska. 


Heres how I remember it:
It was a normal afternoon until about 1:15 p.m. Alaska Time. And wouldn't you know it,  the duty of nature was calling me and I was sitting on the toilet when all of a sudden I felt a cold 'wave' cross my fanny.  At first I thought maybe the toilet had broken and all of a sudden it happened again only this time it was a bigger splash. At the same time I heard Thom yelling "Earthquake, we're having an earthquake!" I could hear the door bell chimes ringing like crazy. We had the type that had long pipes hanging and boy were they sounding off.  I yelled "What do I do?"  He said "get dn, get dn." So I dropped down flat on the floor in the attempt of pulling up my underwear and jeans. I was wriggling around like a fish out of water when he peeked in the door yelling "Hurry up." 
 He stopped dead in his tracks - looked at me and said "WHAT are you doing?" I answered "you said - get down, get down" He said "No, get done! Just get done! - we have to get out of the house."  Needless to say, once I was upright the pants slid on much easier and we were out the door in no time at all. 
Although we could only see one neighbors house which was across the road from our driveway, we could hear several other neighbors calling for their kids and animals.  The neighborhood echoed of dogs barking like crazy - as if they knew something more than we did.  The trees were swaying and the powerlines caught my eye. The poles were leaning back and forth loosening and tightening the power lines themselves as they did so. Both of our vehicles were setting in the driveway rocking so hard that we heard the gas sloshing in the tanks as the earth trembled below. And you wouldn't believe how hard it is to stand upright when all this is going on.  It reminded me of  the floor moving underfoot as you walk through the spook house at a carnival. You get queazy to the stomach and  a general unsettled feeling overtakes you.  It induces vertigo and nauseau. Amazingly all this happened in just a matter of minutes. But the after effect lasted much longer. My legs and back ached for about a week just from trying to stand. I evidently called on muscles I didn't recall having.
As the aftershocks settled down and we went back into the house we were shocked that the dishes had shaken close to the edge of the cupboards, but they never fell out. The chimes were still ringing and the dining room chandelier was still swinging back and forth at a pretty good pace. The toilet had sloshed some water onto the floor because I was no longer sitting on it to seal it off.  But other than that we had suffered no injuries or structural damage. By the Grace of God only one woman was injured through all this.  She broke her arm as she fell down her stairs. The Alaska highway system however; was not so lucky. 


to see more pictures click this link
What an experience!

14 comments:

texwisgirl said...

Oh my word. What an experience! You described it beautifully - even with humor. :) I can only imagine the vertigo and "sea legs" feeling. Wouldn't have guessed the muscle strain. Thanks for sharing that! Glad all survived (and even your china!)

The White Farmhouse said...

Love the whole toilet thing! Too funny! I lived in California and we had a few earthquakes. One in particular, we lived a few miles from the epicenter. I was leaving for work and saw just a wave like if you threw a pebble in a pond starting from across the street. It was so cool looking I just stood there and watched. I had no idea what it was. Then it hit the house and all you-know-what hit. Glad that no one was hurt and the dishes survived!

Nancy Maxwell James said...

I don't think that I would have wanted to be in the "position" you were in when it hit...but I am glad you were ok! The photos are amazing. I have only been in two locations (both Ann Arbor) when we had small quakes hit (last summer was one) and it felt like a giant raft for a minute as it moved...I cannot imagine something that big. I will have to check on my Scotland cousins to see if they felt this yesterday too. Stay warm!

Cathy Clementz said...

Good Lord! You moved the earth upon your throne! Great description (and funny too!).

Dar said...

We remember laughing, (once we knew you were ok) at your experience, (end-to-end). I can't imagine being so compromised.
Here I thought you were going to tell us about the earth moving at your house, Sun., as your Packers beat Thom's Bears....same effect, I'm sure.
Good thing your marriage is stronger than any football rivalry. ROFL
BlessYourHearts

Fred Alton said...

What a serious but hilarious incident! And THANK GOD that he was there and you suffered no serious damages. I've been in a few small quakes living on Adak in the Aleutians for a year - and also a small one in Guyana, S. Amer that woke us up in the night. Nothing near the damage that you folks saw - but I can identify with your emotions. It's a story that grabs one's attention!

~mel said...

Only you Cheryl could could be de-throned by such an event. You always crack me up! It was funny the first time I heard this story ... right after it happened ~ and it's still funny reading it again.

Remington said...

Funny! I don't think I would like an earthquake however....

Kay said...

I've been through 3 major earthquakes here in SoCal. The first was in 1951, which I do not remember as I was only 1 year old. The second was in 1971. I remember that one. I was still living at home with my parents and it was really scary. It was a 6.4. Woke us up at 6:31 A.M. The last one was in 1994. It was a 6.7. My husband and I lived in a mobile home and I swear that the house jumped up into the air and spun around (LOL). I know I will probably have to live through a couple more of them since I live in an active fault zone but I do not look forward to it.

Papa and Nana O said...

You had me laughing (of course) but I was also remembering Jeff sitting on the throne here in Missouri during a thunderstorm with lightening crashing all around your trailer. He wouldn't let go of the seat and was hanging on for dear life (& other extremities). Proof positive that God does indeed have a sense of humor!

jack69 said...

Wow, Cher on the throne, then on the floor. I can understand the mis-hearing thing. hahahahah I have mis-heard many time, but not in such a dire emergency.
Glad no one was hurt, but that was a great narrative of what happened. We have only experienced a tremor. and that is enough to excite you.
Good entry. Thanks.

Julie said...

Omigosh, that visual is going to stay with me all day now. Hilarious!!!!!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

That sounds so scary! What a place to be when it happened :) I remember the same one that Kay mentioned in 1971 while living in So California. I was little and remember my parents coming in and gathering all us kids up. We've had a few here in Seattle, they freak me out every time.

Dee said...

Wow...thats all I can think of to say. I would be terrified.