Wednesday, April 20, 2011
It's amazing the things you miss when you leave the island for awhile. And I'm not talking about missing actual things or people (i.e. how I really missed my son's giggle or taking long walks on Horseshoe Bay beach). I'm talking about the events you're not in town to actually encounter. Just back from a brief trip to Boulder, Colorado, I'm actually quite astounded of the news that hit Bermuda last week. Literally. According to the Royal Gazette, plus accounts from friends and family who actually felt it, Bermuda was struck by a 4.4 magnitude earthquake last week, a tremor that gently rocked the island from 50 miles away. Although police reported no injuries, many island residents felt the ground shaking for several seconds. "[I] looked to the window to see if a truck went past on the lane and then noticed the water in the jug was gently sloshing back and forth—nothing else [was] moving,” Shelly Bay resident Paul Beilstein told the newspaper. “I checked the time and it was about 12:40.” About ten minutes later the Bermuda Weather Service received a phone call from the West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre, indicating that there was a 4.4 magnitude earthquake at 12:38 local time, estimated to be 50 miles west of Bermuda. Heavy stuff, but was the island really in danger? Said a report from the Government: “It was reiterated at the time that there was no tsunami danger and the Bermuda Weather Service quickly went about the business of alerting the relevant authorities to that fact…It should be noted that there were no official tsunami information statements, alerts, watches or warnings issued as a result of this event; there would not routinely be any urgent messages forthcoming for such a small magnitude earthquake, regardless of how close to land it occurs.” I don’t know about you, but a category 4 earthquake just 50 miles offshore doesn’t really sound like small potatoes. Thanks for the heads up government! In the meantime, I've finally returned to blissful Bermuda where I'm currently enjoying my son's giggle and taking long walks on Horseshoe Bay beach. Until tomorrow, folks.