Vermonters Freak Out Over Earthquake | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

News + Opinion » News

Vermonters Freak Out Over Earthquake


Published August 23, 2011 at 5:58 p.m.

Comic by

So, I don't know if you've heard, but there was an earthquake today. A 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia was felt all over the East Coast and into parts of the Midwest. It was kind of a big deal in Washington, D.C., actually. The Smithsonian Castle sustained a bit of damage, and three of the pinnacles on the National Cathedral broke off. (But no, the Washington Monument is not leaning. And yes, Fox News said that.)

Yep, that's the same shaking we felt all the way up here. Seems kind of wild that we could feel a Virginia-centered quake in Vermont, right? Turns out it's because the rock here is "colder and denser," which allows earthquake shaking to travel a longer distance than out West. So now you know.

Here in Vermont, no damage was reported. It just kinda felt like sitting on a boat on a quiet lake for about 10 seconds. Kinda weird that it's the second mild earthquake we've had in 14 months, but that's about the extent of the newsworthiness. That didn't stop the Burlington Free Press and WCAX from busting out the BIG RED BOLD BREAKING NEWS TEXT on their website homepages for the occasion.

The Free Press also took the opportunity to hit the streets and talk to people who were displaced from their offices for five or 10 minutes. (By the way, you shouldn't leave a building during an earthquake. If you're afraid of an imminent ceiling collapse, just get under your desk and cover your head.)

Californians must be laughing so hard at us drama-queen East Coasters right now. But, hey, August is a pretty slow news month! Even CNN went from live coverage of reporters dodging bullets in Libya to live coverage of D.C. office workers standing around outside their buildings and looking confused.

Of course, like any good communal happening in Vermont, today was a good opportunity for locals to get on Twitter and crack jokes. Here are some of the best ones:

So yeah, today's earthquake was unusual, and kind of interesting. But let's keep it in perspective. This was not Japan. Let's save the big red letters for a real disaster. Like maybe that hurricane that's barreling up the coast.