Aha Shake Nowt Break

Oh noes, we have teh erfquakes.

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We’re all going to di… oh, wait.

MORE aftershocks are expected after Victoria’s south was rocked by two earthquakes, including a magnitude 4.4 tremor felt in Melbourne, more than 100km from its epicentre.

The shallow magnitude 4.4 earthquake, which hit at 11.32am (AEST), was felt in Melbourne’s CBD and the city’s southeastern suburbs.

Look, it doesn’t become an 8.8 if you say it twice, you know. There have been a few of these in the last couple of years, the epicentres apparently being in the Korumburra area – or under it, presumably – and to be honest I haven’t even felt them all. If you’re driving a 4.4 wobble is either soaked up by the car’s suspension or indistinguishable from the regular wobbles from imperfections in the road surface, of which Melbourne has no shortage what with having a substantial tram network. Oh, and some shit roads too. As for the possibility of aftershocks, well, we got those after the 4.6 quake in early 2009 but since most were much smaller few got any attention from anyone but the scientists. So why the hell are we hearing stuff like this:

“You would think a truck had driven through the pub.”

Or this:

“It sounded like a truck was approaching up the street and then it was as if the truck had run into the building…”

Orly? Like this kind of thing, you mean?

No? Well, then I think the description you’re looking for is something like “not like a truck hitting the building”. I’d say it is like standing on a bridge when a truck, say a big, long heavy truck like a road train, drives past at speed. You get that same shaking felt through your feet and it goes on for as long as, well, about as long it takes 170 foot of road train doing 60mph to get across a bridge. It’s weird, yes, and definitely disconcerting, but it is not like having a truck, even a small one, hit your house. There’s a sort of clue in the lack of sudden sky and falling masonry. The poor bloody Kiwis have just had another 6.5 – the thick end of 1000 times more powerful – and even though they seem to have emerged unscathed this time I don’t think we here in Melbourne have any call to exaggerate how our little ≈4 mag wobbles feel, especially when at least one young Kiwi didn’t even notice theirs either.

@UpsideBackwards 8yo didn’t feel #eqnz because…. they were having an earthquake drill at the time! #couldntmakethisup

3 comments for “Aha Shake Nowt Break

  1. July 7, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Perhaps you didn’t feel the 4.4 earthquake because you were driving a 4×4*?

    * That’s what we call a “ute” in England.

  2. July 7, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Altogether now:

    “That’s not a ute – this is a ute.”

  3. ivan
    July 7, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Ah, you forgot that 4 is a BIG number and 4.4 is even BIGGER.

    When I was working in Papua New Guinea we would have shakes like that every so often and no one thought anything about it – it was just something that happened.

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