View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 12 March 2011


I have experienced one earthquake first-hand, and that was nearly 20 years ago. It measured just over 5 on the Richter scale and was centered near Roermond in southern Holland. It did a fair bit of damage in that town, toppling chimney and other masonry. I was 60 miles to the north at the time, and it was a strange and frightening experience.

I awoke at 3 am, with the moon shining into my bedroom. There was not a sound - which was odd, as there is always the noise from the motorway, linking Holland to Germany, in the background. Not that night. I dropped off to sleep.

Just over 20 minutes later, I awoke to the bed swinging back and forth, and the whole house in fact creaking and swaying. It lasted for about 15 seconds, then ceased. The power had gone off, but I had batteries in my bedside radio, and this reported the quake, as well as the power outage. Things got back to normal fairly soon. The power grid had tripped out as a result of the quake, but was reset quickly.

It compared in no way to the massive quake that struck Japan yesterday, and the aftershocks are still generating tsunami waves along that country's coast. I am learning that nearly twenty 9 ft tsunami waves came ashore at Crescent City CA over the past 24 hours.

Saturday 12 March

A day of pale sunlight, as high cloud is shrouding the sun. I see shadows, so it's not completely covered. And it's been cold in the night, -5C / 23F. The mercury went above freezing only at 10 o'clock this morning. Snow is currently affecting Central Scotland, and will move north, reaching my corner of the world through the night.

I have decided to devote rather more time to my blogging friends than to Facebook games. Donna (Just Me) wrote that she had been blogging since 2004, gaining friends she otherwise would never have met. And the same applies to myself. I started blogging in October 2004, getting involved with J-land a year and a half later. Although I have infrequently called round blogs in recent months, I'll dedicate the time I used to spend on games to visiting blogs. Makes more sense, I'd think.

I continue to be horrified by the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. The explosion at the nuclear plant, earlier today, appears to have served to reduce the amount of radiation at the site. But the images from the areas affected by the tsunami are mind-boggling. However, don't forget that a cubic metre of water (10.76 cubic feet) weighs a ton. And that lot was sweeping across the ocean at 600 mph, and across land at a speed of about 100 mph. The debris will have augmented the destructive power of the water.