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mag. 4.4 earthquake – 78 km south of Armona Island, Faro, Portugal, Jan 1, 2022 8:03 pm

So, about 120km from us. I’ll let someone clever than me do the translation into how powerful would the equivalent be if it happened under the building but gave us the same effect here.

The fracking limit is 0.5 in the UK.

7943 times different.

The effect here was that the wife looked at the dog to ask it to stop scratching and banging its leg against the sofa. Earthquakes do matter, of course, but scale does too.

That fracking limit hasn’t been set for any scientific reason, has it?

23 thoughts on “Earthquake!”

  1. Oh, I’m jealous! Would love to experience a real earthquake!

    The machine they used to have in the Natural History Museum didn’t quite cut it, I suspect…

  2. We got a 4.1 about 2 miles from here a few weeks ago. Although that news had to wait until I read it in the newspaper. If I hadn’t told the person who lives directly over the epicentre, she wouldn’t have known either.

  3. By the way, for anyone doesn’t know this area, apart from the very narrow coastal strip we’re all mountains. The “hill” at the back of town goes up about 3000 ft & is too steep to walk up. Driving on the highway skirts the base of it’s like being in a low flying plane. So give this area a good shaking it’d probably be hard not to notice bits of it falling off.

  4. When I lived in Iran we had quite a few earthquakes. Enough to be taught from a very young age to get under the school desks when the ground shook. When I do remember quite well was in 1972. Centre wasn’t anywhere that close but it did shake the ground for a few seconds and was very noticeable and couldn’t be assigned to a dog scratching itself.

  5. I’ve experienced a few little ones. Sitting on the loo in my old home in the North of England the vibration felt like a heavy lorry going past on the main road. I heard later it was a quake in North Wales. One woke me up in San Diego once with the bed shaking. One in Tuscany shook the bed and rattled the windows. Wife and kids were oblivious… I found out on the net it was around scale 2 about 20 km away.
    I don’t suppose it’s much fun to experience one like those videos you see from Japan.

  6. We’ve had quite a large number here over the past year or so, nothing like experienced in the past though. Fingers crossed we don’t!

    I think the theory is that lots of little ‘quakes release the pressure and prevent bigguns!

    Oh, I’m jealous! Would love to experience a real earthquake!

    The biggest I experienced here was when sitting outside a bar on a plastic chair. The chair started moving like somebody was pulling and pushing the seat back. I turned around to see who it was but there was nobody there and the window of the bar had waves moving across it.

  7. I was in the bar on the 46th floor of a hotel in Shinjuku when an earthquake hit Tokyo. (No idea what it was rated at, the Japanese use a different measure.) Before it hit the hotel I’d watched it cross Tokyo as a wave in the street lights. As I had no idea what to do I watched the locals – they froze for a moment and then relaxed, so it wasn’t serious. The next day I was told that strength earthquake happened about every three months. Two people died, one hit by a falling light, one by a heart attack.

  8. I was woken in the middle of the night by that earthquake we had in the UK in 2008 in Lincolnshire, and I’m over 100 miles away. It felt like someone had kicked my bed hard from underneath. I put the light on and had a look underneath. To this day I still don’t know what I expected to see…….

  9. “Oh, I’m jealous! Would love to experience a real earthquake!”

    Julia… Honestly… Even while fully aware of the principles behind them…

    No! You! Don’t!

    Especially those that wake you up in the middle of the night in a building that’s not designed for that shyte and you try to Get Out while you can’t get your footing.

    But ymmv and there’s always thrillseekers, I guess.. Personally I would pay to avoid that particular experience. Especially when in an area that is not supposed to have them.

  10. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    The 0.5 limit is presumably because much above that they can be felt. Back in 2002 we had a long sequence of earthquakes in Manchester. The first set shut down my centrifuges. Twice. They then continued for months at around 2.0 (I lived a couple of miles from the epicentre) but even really small ones down to about 1.0 can be felt with practice. It gets annoying when it goes on for months, and would be especially annoying if it went on for years. Nowhere in the UK is sufficiently uninhabited that you could frack there without disturbing a lot of peoples’ sleep indefinitely.

  11. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    So, in Timspeak, externalities. Never forget the externalities. However you “price” them and whoever pays, they exist.

  12. Bi4R

    When they ‘frack’ for oil or gas, they pump the fracking material into the rock formation which frees the liquid to flow back up the pipe. It’s pretty much a ‘one and done’ thing. So one very slight tremor to open each well. Not endless ‘earthquakes’ while the well is pumping.

  13. Would love to experience a real earthquake!

    Well, incanting “real earthquake!” invites something like the 1755 event which massively damaged Portugal (plus surrounds) and killed somewhere between fifty and one hundred thousand, even back then and with the epicentre hundreds of kilometres out in the Atlantic. If such an 8.7-9.0 scale hit anywhere in the UK now, millions would likely die. So please be on a distant foreign holiday when your wish comes true.

    Hate to say it, Tim, but you are about due something now based on the average timings.

  14. @Grikath and PJF: We’ll, obviously not an earthquake of Roland Emmerich proportions, no! But a mild but just enough to be experienced one?

    Yes. Definitely. A good – and timely! – reminder that mankind, for all his pretension, isn’t king of the universe. And never will be.

  15. live in the Home Counties, and my worst earthquake experience was being woken at 2am by my son in the Midlands to tell me he’d experienced an earthquake. The following day, in a committee meeting full of professional geologists, one sheepishly admitted to me that she’d been in a hotel up there and put the experience down to people shagging in the adjacent room.

  16. Have felt one in the Lincolnshire Fens and two here in the East Mids – that’s where I was, not necessarily where the epicentres were. One was enough to rattle windows and was shakey for quite a while. I find it reassuring now because my current house has what seem like some questionable construction choices in the extension over the garage but those quakes (and some others) have not revealed a single significant crack.

  17. I was working at my computer during the 2008 one. My only thought was something like: somebody next door’s pushed a wardrobe over or something. It was only when the conscious part of my brain caught up that I thought: oo! earthquake! and put the TV news on.

    It felt exactly the same as when my neighbour’s washing machine killed itself a few months ago, a single *thud*, as though a sledge hammer had been dropped on the carpeted floor.

  18. A minor earth tremor woke my mother once. I slept through it.

    It was the one that gave rise to Glasgow’s natural earthquake measure: “my budgie fell off its perch”.

  19. From 6 Dec. 2019:
    “An earthquake in Somerset caused houses to rattle, beds to shake and objects to fall from shelves.

    The quake, with a magnitude of 3.2, was reported in Bridgwater and a number of towns and villages across the county.

    According to the British Geological Survey (BGS), it struck at 10.49pm and was 5km underground. The BGS said houses had rattled and one person reported that they felt their bed shake.”

    I live a couple of miles west of Taunton. I’ve dug out the exchange of text messages the next morning with my next-door neighbour:

    “I was asleep by then (just). Did you or Sky [my dog] notice it?”
    “Not at all.”

    So that’s how a 3.2 earthquake, three miles down and four miles away, feels.

  20. Have to chime in with the others about the 2008 one. Was living at the time in a 19th floor flat and was sitting at a desk when it happened.
    The whole building swayed back and forward a few times and it took a couple minutes for the realisation to kick in about what happened.
    Novel, and somewhat disconcerting but otherwise harmless.

  21. In an area where we get over a hundred recorded each quakes a year and in the last decade I’ve felt 2 of them.
    Having spoken to some of the infrastructure emergency planning teams it seems they are more worried about ground liquefaction on the coastal flats. Also the idea of redundancy for data centres by having physically distance sites sounds a good idea until you see what a serious earthquake will do to fibre and associated communication infrastructure.

  22. A lot of what you feel depends on where you are. Cold dense rock like you have in England or the US east coast transmits the seismic waves better. A 4.0 will be widely felt. In California, it’s hardly noticeable more than 10km from the epicenter.

    You get used to the quakes after a while, so the small ones don’t wake you up. Ridgecrest had a 6.7 and a 7.2 on successive days a couple of years ago. Aftershocks numbered in thousands. It took a 4.5 or larger to get your attention.

    There was no loss of life and few injuries due to California’s building codes. In many parts of the world quakes that size would cause thousands or tens of thousands of casualties.

  23. I enjoy earthquakes. When I lived in Wellington NZ they were frequent.

    People say it is mad to enjoy them, but then they themselves take up parachuting or skiing or deep sea fishing etc, which are much more dangerous.

    Of course Wellington has good building codes. I’d not enjoy earthquakes in Europe. That makes a massive difference. The famous Lisbon quake was the same size as NZ’s Christchurch one (where a building designed by an unqualified engineer did fall down, true).

    When White Island exploded and killed lots of people, questions were raised about why people were visiting a live volcano. *Because* it’s a live volcano, you morons! There’s little fun in seeing an extinct one.

    Not all of us value safety above all else.

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