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Old 06-23-2010, 12:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
Leto's Avatar
Location: The Danforth
5.7 Earthquake

I know it ain't Haiti, or California here, but the past couple of hours have been quite different. I was in the middle of a telepresence workshop in our Ottawa office, connected to Toronto and we suddenly went through a prolonged, very shakey earthquake.

The folks in Toronto were watching us on the screen, thinking that we were nuts for suddenly scattering and all the commotion. Then about 30 seconds later, it was their turn. It was very wild to see the progression of events. Not to mention, we RARELY get earthquakes, especially of a 5.7 magnitude, here in Ontario.

Apparently, this one was felt as far away as Cinicinati, Detroit & New Jersey. Well, it appears that all our buildings in Ottawa & Toronto have been evacuated, so I might as well begin my 5 hour drive back to Toronto.

Did anybody else feel this? (the last line of the article below is funny)

Earthquake shakes Ontario and Quebec - thestar.com

Earthquake shakes Ontario and QuebecPublished 13 minutes ago

A 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Ontario-Quebec border Wednesday afternoon with tremors felt across the GTA and much of southern Ontario.

The earthquake struck at about 1:41 p.m., hitting the Ottawa area hardest but also hitting Toronto and causing many buildings to be evacuated.

The epicentre of the earthquake was 45 km north of Gatineau, Que.

No injuries have been reported yet but media and emergency services were immediately flooded with calls. The tremors shook for about 30 seconds. Here in Toronto tremors were felt for between 5 and 30 seconds.

The TTC and GO Transit are reporting business as usual. Everything is operational both services said.

In Ottawa, dozens of members of the national press gallery poured out onto the streets of Ottawa across from Parliament Hill as tremors shook the National Press Building. Public servants and political staffers also began to empty their offices.

Thousands of employees, political staffers and tourists poured onto the streets of Ottawa.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was en route to Toronto at the time to attend the Air India memorial, an aide said.

Asked if the PM was in the air, a security official said: “I sure as hell hope so.”

A picture fell off the wall outside the prime minister's office, but there was no evacuation.

Senator Art Eggleton was in the Senate chamber when the quake started the ornate chandeliers swaying. “Lots of shaking it was a severe shake,” said Eggleton, a former Toronto mayor.

“We kept hearing this noise initially and we thought it was construction but then the shaking kicked in,” he said.

“Someone yelled ‘get out’ and everyone headed for the exits,” Eggleton said, standing with a throng a people on the sidewalk outside the Wellington St. Senate offices.

“A few of my colleagues who have experienced this said this was the worst they’ve felt.”

Traffic in Ottawa quickly backed up, though street lights continued to work.

Schools in the Ottawa area emptied, but students at one elementary school, Elmdale Public School, were quickly allowed back in.

Conservative House leader Jay Hill was standing outside East Block talking to Sen. Doug Finley. “It felt like a D9-Cat (a big bulldozer) went by.”

“I figured it was an earthquake,” said Hill, who has experienced earthquakes in B.C.

“No goddamn earthquakes when the Liberals were in power,” wisecracked Liberal whip Rodger Cuzner to Hill.

“We like to shake things up,” said Hill.

A geological fault line runs through the Ottawa Valley — part of the reason the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has insisted on rigorous checks and balances for the nuclear reactor in Chalk River.

The last big earthquake in the region was in October 1998 when an earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale struck southern Ontario.

In downtown Toronto hundreds of people elected to leave their office towers after they realized what was happening. Some were ordered out.

“The chair was moving,” said Michel Laverdiere, an education officer who works for the Ontario Ministry of Education, on the 18th floor of the Mowat Block at Bay and Wellesley Sts.

“The director of my branch came out of his office and gave the order (to leave). No alarm was ringing. There was no panic. But we have someone in the office from China who said, ‘oh, that is an earthquake, right away.’”

Others in buildings right across the GTA were told to leave once the tremors struck. But some Toronto residents didn’t even know the earthquake had occurred and expressed surprise when they were told.

In the city’s west end near Islington Ave. and Bloor St., financial consultant Carol Malinas, who was in her office in the SunLife Financial Building, said the tremors made the floor beneath her shake. “You could feel it. And the computer monitor, the screen itself, started shaking. Easily a quarter of an inch. It was for about five seconds. I looked out at the girl beside me. Then everyone in the office stood up to look around and see what was happening.”

At Queen's Park, a tremors could be felt in the Legislature — slightly more than the usual vibrations caused by subways running in the tunnels below — and workers in nearby government buildings streamed outside for safety even though there was no evacuation order.

“We were on the 10th floor and it was really wobbling,” said one civil servant standing in the sun on Grosvenor St.

“It's almost as if the floor was going up and down,” said another man.

After a short while, some government workers headed inside. Others were on the phone talking to friends and relatives to share experiences.

“You never felt it?” One woman asked over her mobile.

Quipped another civil servant to her friends: “At least it's a nice day.”

Inside Queen’s Park, the massive stone Legislature shook for what seemed like 10 seconds. Occupants of the historic building, already under tight security for the G20 and G8, ran outside thinking the worst after a suspicious package was found earlier this morning at the Queen’s Park subway station.

“We are on the fourth floor and we were swaying,” said Marion Nader, NDP press secretary. The increased security presence at the Legislature, which has recessed for the summer months, checked through the building and told everyone an earthquake had hit.

Susan Ashley, who lives on the 10th floor of a building at Victoria Park Ave. and the Danforth, was working on her computer when she felt the tremors. “Everything was swaying and shaking … I felt like I was in my car.”

Her dog started barking and Ashley ran outside in the hallway. “Everyone was streaming out and we went downstairs. It was really strange.”

In east Caledon, Bart Petrash was talking to two customers at his pet store when the earthquake struck. The centre island started swaying and some things fell off the shelves. “I instantly knew it was an earthquake,” said Petrash.

He and the two customers ran outside where Petrash says he saw two cars sway. “It was pretty strong… I think it lasted for about 10 seconds, I think.”

In the meantime, some are already joking about the earthquake and tremors, saying that if Quebec wanted to separate they were going a bit far and that many prefer their martinis stirred, not shaken.

In Montreal the tremors were also felt.

David Bernatchez, the elevator operator at the Villa Medica Rehabilitation Hospital in downtown Montreal, was transporting a patient to another floor when the earthquake hit.

“All off a sudden the elevator started shaking rapidly, my patient started screaming!” he told the Star. “I didn't know what was happening.”

The elevator shook violently for five or six seconds and made lots of noise, perhaps while hitting the shaft, he said. Thankfully it didn't break down.

“An elevator is probably the best place to feel an earthquake because of the cables,” he added, taking a puff on a cigarette outside.

Patient Yves Duplessy said he was jolted awake by the tremors and knew it was an earthquake. “But I didn't panic,” he said. In fact, he fell back asleep a few minutes later.

In Montreal, the 911 service was bombarded with reports of the earthquake but no injuries were reported. South of Montreal, some people reported objects falling off shelves, chimney bricks collapsing and the like.

Some people sought to have some fun with the episode. “Be reassured,” someone named Paul-André wrote on the Radio-Canada website. “It's just Quebec separating.”
You said you didn't give a fuck about hockey
And I never saw someone say that before
You held my hand and we walked home the long way
You were loosening my grip on Bobby Orr

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Old 06-23-2010, 12:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
warrior bodhisattva
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Location: East-central Canada
OMG, so I'm not losing my mind!

I felt it in my home office (the main floor of a 10-storey building). I felt the desk and floor beneath me vibrate, and then the flimsy shelf behind me rattle against the wall. I kinda had a mild panic and headed to the back patio to see what was up.

When I got there, nothing was happening anymore. I returned to my office and thought that maybe I was hallucinating from drinking too much iced tea all at once.

In hindsight, I remember feeling the tremors (the floor shook slightly, and my desk was kind of rocking side to side—at first I thought I was losing it and passing out or something) and noticing the plant on the top of the shelf waving its heavy leaves at me, but then I thought it could have been a combination of the wind coming in through the window and someone doing some kind of repair work above me.

It was all very weird. When it happened it felt like a small quake, but in hindsight it was all very dreamlike.

That said, quakes here are rare indeed, and seldom go above 3.0 (dish-rattlers). This one was a "doozy" for us I guess.
Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot

Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 06-23-2010 at 12:19 PM..
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
Getting it.
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Location: Lion City
It's just a harbinger of my impending arrival.

Fear not.
"My hands are on fire. Hands are on fire. Ain't got no more time for all you charlatans and liars."
- Old Man Luedecke
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
Alien Anthropologist
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Location: Between Boredom and Nirvana
Felt it in Youngstown, Ohio (NE part of the state) too!! Having lived in California, I know the feeling but thought it was too weird to be real in Ohio!

Well now I feel better knowing it was real.
Hope no one got hurt anywhere.
"I need compassion, understanding and chocolate." - NJB

Last edited by hunnychile; 06-23-2010 at 03:05 PM..
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
james t kirk's Avatar
Location: Toronto
Was driving at the time to Swiss Chalet for a Quarter White. Mmmm, chicken.

Unfortunately, I didn't feel a thing.

But the Cat Police came by my place and left a notice that I had to buy a cat licence for 50 bucks while I was out. I guess the box of Kitty Litter on the porch and or maybe my cat staring out the window gave it away.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:01 PM   #6 (permalink)

Last edited by settie; 03-28-2016 at 12:22 AM..
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
Functionally Appropriate
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Location: Toronto
I was at work and didn't feel a thing. One guy stood up at his desk and asked if anyone else felt that but the universal response was "Felt what?".

My sister, who lives in a condo said it was like her upstairs neighbors were moving an elephant around.

I'm glad it was minor.
Building an artificial intelligence that appreciates Mozart is easy. Building an A.I. that appreciates a theme restaurant is the real challenge - Kit Roebuck - Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
Smithers, release the hounds
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Location: Guatemala, Guatemala
World is coming to end!!! I tell you!!!
Right her in Guatemala in the span of a week we had a massive volcano eruption that made sand to rain, just to be hit by a tropical storm the very next day that created a giant sinkhole in the middle of the city and after taht we had a 4.0 earthquake.
SHIT HAPPENS my friends.
If I agreed with you we´d both be wrong
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
warrior bodhisattva
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Super Moderator
Location: East-central Canada
Yeah, crazy day in Ontario.

Trailer park damaged after possible tornado strikes central Ontario - The Globe and Mail
Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
wraithhibn's Avatar
Location: the 'Ville
Supposedly it was felt here in KY but I didn't notice it. I was outside at the time and didn't feel anything. We have had a good number of tremors here in the last year or so.
If you won't dress like the Victoria Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:17 AM   #11 (permalink)
GreyWolf's Avatar
Location: Eastern Canada
It was felt as far east as New Brunswick. My wife felt it in a taller building there. She was so excited, not seeing it as anything at all dangerous, but more of a curiosity.
The secret to great marksmanship is deciding what the target was AFTER you've shot.
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:17 AM   #12 (permalink)
Leto's Avatar
Location: The Danforth
Originally Posted by james t kirk View Post
Was driving at the time to Swiss Chalet for a Quarter White. Mmmm, chicken.

Unfortunately, I didn't feel a thing.

But the Cat Police came by my place and left a notice that I had to buy a cat licence for 50 bucks while I was out. I guess the box of Kitty Litter on the porch and or maybe my cat staring out the window gave it away.
You didn't notice the Cat Detector Van in the neighbourhood? I thought cat licences were only $15. Maybe you got hit with a fine as well.
You said you didn't give a fuck about hockey
And I never saw someone say that before
You held my hand and we walked home the long way
You were loosening my grip on Bobby Orr

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Old 06-24-2010, 06:10 AM   #13 (permalink)
Groovy Hipster Nerd
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Location: Michigan
Negative, but other people in Michigan experienced it.
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:04 AM   #14 (permalink)
Kick Ass Kunoichi
snowy's Avatar
Location: Oregon
Ugh, I'm experiencing a 3.0 earthquake every minute or so at the moment, as they are cutting the concrete in front of my house. It's not nearly as pleasant as the actual earthquakes I've been in, which have been more wave-like and less shakerish. Where I grew up, small earthquakes were very, very common. It's kind of cool that so many of you who do not normally experience these things got to without anyone being hurt, and showed a sense of humor about it
If I am not better, at least I am different. --Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
bad craziness
m0rpheus's Avatar
Location: Guelph, Ontario
I worked that night until 6 am, then I slept through the whole thing. Yes, I can now say I can sleep through an earthquake.

My GF was downstairs and got a kinda funny story out of it though. She had hurt her foot recently and had taken some pain meds. All of a sudden the world started moving on her, and she thought it was a reaction to the meds, and that she was passing out until she looked at her glass of water, and the water was shaking Jurrasic Park style and realised that the world really was moving around.
"it never got weird enough for me." - Hunter S. Thompson
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Old 06-25-2010, 07:58 AM   #16 (permalink)
Hold on folks the best is yet to come !
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:46 AM   #17 (permalink)
The sky calls to us ...
MSD's Avatar
Super Moderator
Location: CT
I felt either the quake or construction next door down here in southwest CT. I think it's the third one I've noticed in my life; it's weird, feels like it's all in your head rather than the floor shaking under you.
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