More Quakes and Hive Mind

Last night we have a 4.5 aftershock.  The original quake was 5.9, but the Richter scale is logarithmic, so the original quake was more than 10 times this largest aftershock.  One of the actual epicenters from one of the aftershocks was on our property.  We knew the place was rocking, but this seems unnecessary.

I will soon be posting “disaster porn” pictures of the many before and after shots, but below is the after clean up shot of one of the worst hit locations.  Upstairs Ta Chai where a fish tank (no doubt funded by the nuclear lobby) tried to kill me by jumping off the wall at the height of the quake.  Amazingly, even though the rescue crew did not make it for several hours at least 3 fish survived as did our lizard Scuba Steve.


The somewhat cleaned floor of upstairs Ta Chai

For me the most impressive thing about the earthquake was the community response.  Almost everyone stepped in to help.  And while technically the planners managed the clean up and recovery, what really happened is numerous ad hoc, self appointed groups worked in parallel to solve problems, restore services and take care of members.  Unlike our occasionally contentious decision making process, there was very little disagreement about what to do and who should do it.  People with technical skills stepped up and used them, people with organizing skills made things flow, members took care of each other and the community shined.

In contrast to some urban areas, no one feared for looting or the safety of their children (after the initial quake).

And some members were less than heroic.  One member panicked and took a car into Cville, without telling anyone and reducing our capacity to evacuate.  When our IT folks managed to quickly get the internet on line, one especially insensitive member  played video games on an office computer which major clean up was going on around them and we had limited bandwidth to communicate with friends and family who were not here.  But these were definitely the exception, i was proud of the response of almost everyone.

The local nuclear power plant continues to malfunction.  While offsite power had been restored the reactor continues to be shut down for what they believe will be some days.  We have also heard from one plant employee that there is structural to both reactors which Dominion is not reporting.