Earthquakes, Hurricanes, and Other Natural Disasters

Hurricane Irene

This has been going on in the media all week long already and I think it deserves a post – before it’s over and everyone forgets about it. Two natural occurrences have followed each other within days, making me never forget this last week of August of 2011.

Last Tuesday at noon New York City experienced an earth quake. I was in my office on the fourth floor and I didn’t feel a thing but shortly after it had occurred my coworkers started to stream into the office, excitedly blabbing about how everything had shaken and how they had felt the shutter. I supposed the higher up you were, the more you felt the jitter. What was quite surprising to me was that almost every single one of my New York friends wildly posted tweets or updates of this “natural disaster” on their social networking sites (and mostly in such an irrational way I was afraid they had lost their head and mind in the shake). The earth quake was being said to have originated in first Ohio, than Virginia, and then a third, unidentified spot. Until it was clarified two days later that the quake had indeed come from Virginia, wild speculations of its origin were uttered throughout the entire City. I guess the people of Washington D.C. had felt it to a higher extent than we had, being four hours down south and closer to the source.

Following this first mood of nature, it is now being said that we are expecting a hurricane coming up the East Coast and hitting the Tri-State-Area by late Saturday or early Sunday. Not to forget, these are the major party nights here in the City and I am very upset I will be missing out on my last weekend of fun here before I am going overseas. But I guess sometimes you have to take sacrifices when it comes to your safety. The New Jersey and New York parts are divided into specific zones ranging from A to C and a “no zone.” I happen to be on the verge of a B zone and a no zone, so I don’t know what to make of this.
The areas right next to the water are the typical A zones, which means the people there will be the first ones asked to leave and look for alternative living solutions.

Despite the chaos and backwards organization, I find it quite exciting that I am able to witness this tragedy, because it is something that usually never occurs back at home. First it was the Blizzard of the Millenium in December that added to my adventurous list of nature’s quirks. Now it is a small shake of earth and even a full-blown hurricane heading up to New York. I wonder what else this year will have in storage for us…

Wish us luck that nothing too bad happens, but I seriously doubt we are in big danger. Major floods will be the main concern the city will have to fight. Bloomberg is straining to get his once great reputation as a risk manager and New York’s safeguard back and understandably he is being overly precautious during this weekend. Several hospitals and senior care homes have been evacuated in the early morning already. All bay areas have been declared mandatory evacuation. The subway, basically the only way to get around the island if you don’t have a car, will shut down tomorrow noon and will foreseeably not be running until Monday midday (as it takes several hours to shut the train system on and off). This being said, I already know what kind of chaos I will be witnessing when trying to make my way out to work on Monday and Tuesday.

Oh, and if you think those broadcasted images of empty shelves in a random New York supermarket are exaggerated, you’re wrong! I went to Target right after work and even though they had let us out earlier (4 PM this time) there was no water to be found anywhere! The Roomie texted me about a line in front of Trader Joe’s that stretched around two blocks just to get into the store, not even estimating what exactly you would be able to buy after the people were done and left remains of this massacre.
When I came home, my other roomie was seriously annoyed with all the exaggerated measures just because of a little bit of rain and a hurricane that would probably not even hit us. Well, the hurricane does exist but I also believe the City’s major problem will be the flooding afterwards. And the most current update is that her boyfriend bought bunches of water, bounty paper, four bottles of wine, two six packs of beer, a whole tub of candles (all of them so big I can wrap two hands around them!), flashlights, and other nice necessities to keep us warm and snug throughout the weekend. My, this will be an interesting time. The two roomies are planning on throwing a hurricane party, I guess I am the only other guest attending…
Another friend let me know that we are not the only one with this idea, as other people in different neighborhoods are also planning on parties, so-called “Bring-your-own-candles-”events.

Let’s hope this great New York spirit will get us through the next two and a half days with a laugh! Are there any hurricane stories you would like to share?

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5 thoughts on “Earthquakes, Hurricanes, and Other Natural Disasters

  1. Please be safe, I’ve been thinking about you and I am glad you weren’t evacuated. You are all very lucky in NYC that they are taking such precautions. A few years ago in New Oreleans, they weren’t so lucky. Hurricane Katrina, it was just terrible. Anyway, I am glad you are in high spirits and won’t be alone. Have fun at your parties and be sure to update us! Sending thoughts and prayers your way!

    • I’ve been to New Orleans two years after Katrina, and the city was still suffering from the aftermath, sad to say. Bourbon street was the worst!
      Thanks Ginger, I’ve been thinking about you and my cousin out in Philly, too. Hope you and your family are safe and not close to any river/well/ocean but I am sure we will make it out of this one just fine!

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