He Is (at 32:45)

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The DC Earthquake and Hurricane Irene

Dated 25 August 2011

I had been feeling sick for a week but didn't feel too badly, until that day, Tues., Aug 23. I thought I better go to the doctor because I couldn't stand another day / night being sick. So, I took the bus and went to our doctor. There was a long queue as usual, an assortment of old and young people, some babies and some middle-aged ones like me. I felt the chair I was sitting on being gently rocked but there was a toddler holding on to the chair next to mine, so, I thought he was rocking the chair. But a middle-aged guy standing next to a bookshelf, talking quite loudly on his cellphone, suddenly looked up and said, "Oh, earthquake!" So, I said, "Yeah, it's an earthquake." He was standing a few feet away from us, so, I thought if he felt the shaking, then it couldn't have been the baby; it was an earthquake! The same guy walked to the window at the end of the room and said, "I thought it was just because of the construction going on downstairs," examining the construction site just outside. We were on the second floor (meaning, third floor, if you count the ground floor as first floor). I think the building had up to 6 floors and that moment, I was thinking, "Why did I happen to be in this multi-story building when this earthquake occurred?" At the same time, I was thinking, good that it's just a small one, or we would all be rushing to get out of the building and the hallways are very narrow. This was congested Queens, New York. I can't remember the last time I felt an earthquake. Probably in Japan? There was an earthquake or two when we lived in Malaysia but I didn't feel them because we were too far from the epicenter or we were on the ground floor. The vocal guy said, "Facebook time," and went on to check his FB in his cellphone. He said, "Hmmm, Washington DC." I thought, "The epicenter is in DC?" I texted my older daughter  who was at home to ask if they felt the earthquake at around 5 min. before 2pm. I texted the same message to my niece in Jersey and to my older son  in DC. My niece texted back saying it was a little shaking but my son said he was in Richmond, VA for a one-week training and they have evacuated the office. Almost an hour later he texted again saying they have gone back in. When I got home my older daughter said she didn't read my txt message but she did feel it. The rest of my family didn't feel it at all because they were either napping or sitting in front of the computer. So, we didn't think too much of that little earthquake although it was a 5.8 magnitude in Virginia.
Then last night, Wednesday, when I was reading my younger daughter her bedtime story my older daughter was looking at her Tumblr and exclaimed, "Mommy, a hurricane is coming to hit us!" He explained that it's headed for Miami and North Carolina but will eventually reach us in New York. And then I said, "That sounds bad, a hurricane in New York?" And she said it's predicted to be big, probably not as big as Katrina, but big. And when I think of Katrina I think "chastisement" (on New Orleans). So, I said, "Could that be because of Wall Street?" And she said, "Why?" "Don't you know? In the past few weeks the stock market crashed and people are saying the people behind Wall Street are the ones who made the money from that crash." Then she looked at her computer again and said, "Mommy, somebody did comment saying, 'I hope it goes straight to Wall Street!'" And I said, "Earthquake in DC and now hurricane in Manhattan? This doesn't sound good. Reminds me of 9/11." (The Pentagon was hit in DC when the World Trade Center was bombed in 9/11.) My daughter knows that I have always dreamed of going back to DC again, because I really do think it's the most beautiful man-made city I have ever seen, and had hoped I could live there, even just for a short while. I was there in 2007 when my sis and her family brought me there for a visit after we sent my older son to Dartmouth to start his college education. But at the same time I had expressed that it's probably the most dangerous place to live in in the whole world because of the Pentagon and the White House sitting there. And then now, my older son is actually working there (!) and most likely, I would see DC again, this time with my whole family, the Lord willing.
Then this morning I found in my email the news that I had been thinking of looking up since the earthquake occurred. I am subscribed to Christian Breaking News and one of the news they posted is on the earthquake and the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene in New York this Sunday (Aug 28). I read the news from the link they recommended and I found the details more alarming than just the" gentle swaying" we experienced here in New York. The vid associated with the news also says that the epicenter was in Mineral, VA, 40 miles northwest of Richmond where my older son was when it happened. The dismal side of the news is that:
1) "The East Coast gets earthquakes, but usually smaller ones and is less prepared than California or Alaska for shaking." That means the buildings here in the East Coast are not built to withstand big earthquakes, unlike in California and Alaska.
2) There were two nuclear plants in VA that were taken offline for a while after that earthquake, and there is also a nuclear plant here in New York (Indian Point). The reason Japan had radioactive leakage from their nuclear plants in the earthquake of 11th March there is because those nuclear plants were built to withstand only earthquakes up to 5 or 6 or 7 magnitude, not an 8.9 ! Because this area has no history of big earthquakes, I doubt if these nuclear plants are built to withstand them either.
3) A few months before the "killer quake" of Christchurch, NZ on 22nd Feb this year, they also had a big-mag. quake (in Sept 2010) but it didn't kill anyone and it was considered a miracle by the NZ Prime Minister, considering that it's a highly populated area. However, both "killer quake" and it's "prelude" in Christchurch were later deemed to have come from an unknown fault - meaning, there was no history of big jolts coming from that particular fault line.
Well, these thoughts are far from happy ones, but I always try to see the worst scenarios that can happen, and then I pray that they would never happen. I really think we cannot be complacent with the "small earthquake" we felt here in New York the other day. So, there. I pray that you my friends out there would pray for us here in the North American east coast. Now I also understand why I had been sick lately. I lost my appetite and because of the diarrhea I was really forced to fast, or at least, partially-fast. Then right after the earthquake I felt better again. And this is not the first time this has happened to me.
Today it was rainy-cloudy the whole day, a sudden contrast to the bright and cool-breezy weather we had in the past week. We went out shopping for food and the lady at the till was commenting that she hadn't had any break since they opened at 7 this morning. People have also been shopping for food in preparation for this hurricane weekend! And tomorrow, Friday, it could be worse. As for me, my older daughter  attends her first day of classes for the Fall Term tomorrow and my sis-in-law and her family (3 of them) are arriving from Malaysia. They are on holiday here, but they'll probably be staying a while longer with us before they can't go anywhere, with this hurricane coming this weekend!

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The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D