Monday, July 25, 2005
My First Earthquake
I've just experienced my first earthquake! And I was dispatching in the 911 center no less. It happened at about 10 pm Mountain Time (Brandon did you feel it?). Things were pretty quiet in the center and I began to feel like I was on a boat. I always imagined it be more like in the movies, a jerky and jolting sensation with quick sudden movements, but it was smooth. The building (our center is located in the basement of a 3 story building) felt like it was a raft waves, or sliding back and forth. I've never experienced anything like it and immediately thought I had lost my equilibrium. I became queezy and confused--I would have never suspected it was the earth that was moving like that, I figured it was me. I was about to tell my two co-dispatchers about my sudden illness when I noticed our strongtly secured TV monitors and lights swinging back and forth. The quake lasted about 10 to 15 seconds it seemed then all 6 of our 911 lines and all 9 of our non-emergency lines lit up (the 911 lines roll over to non-emergency if all lines are tied up). Shit the bed! Shit the bed! Every ranch hand and river bum in the entire county called in to report an earthquake, as if they were the only ones, though a few called in to say someone was rocking their trailer from the outside trying to get in, and one guy called in the middle of it to say his neighbor's dog was barking. We fielded about 500 calls in 15 minutes, and they are still fielding calls now that I have left. We had to ask everyone if there were any injuries, structural damage, or gas line breaks. Nothing major, as far as injuries seems to have happend. It is nice to live in the middle of nowhere I suppose during an earthquake--no buildings to fall on anyone. It was 5.6 in magnitude and centered about 40 to 45 miles west of Bozeman. (Blogger takes a deep and long sigh). Glad to get a chance at this sort of thing before moving back to boring old Lincoln. Tornadoes just don't do it for me.