I'm told that the news media is making a big deal out of today's earthquake. Like millions of other people, I actually experienced it, so I probably should write something. Otherwise, I'll forget by tomorrow.
I kept insisting it wasn't an earthquake. I've experienced a few in my life, but they've always been different somehow. I think that this one went "too long." I overheard someone later saying that she'd heard it was two in a row, and that would explain my impression. Anyway, it wasn't scary (to me), and I was willing to go back to work, but the whole building was evacuating and it was a gorgeous day, so I went out with the rest.
No one panicked. We were certainly all curious about what had just happened, but within 15 minutes someone's smartphone picked up that it was an earthquake of 5.8 magnitude. I now know that was the third strongest quake in the history of this area, and that the reason folks felt it in, say, New York or Pittsburgh is that this whole region is one solid piece of bedrock. In the other parts of the world where I have experienced earthquakes, the underlying earth layer is fragmented, and so the shock doesn't travel as far. Interesting.
When my officemate and I tried to go back into the building, we were told that the building was closed until the county said they could open it, so we both went home. It was my time, anyway. The trains were running at half-speed, so I suspect that the afternoon commute was messy. I took my normal exercise walk upon getting home, and there were several folks on the path who were dressed for work, so I'm guessing they saw the lines waiting on the trains, and decided to hoof it. But at the same time, I'd say that the roads (that I could see) were in fine shape, and traffic moved easily in both directions. In fact, by the time I got back into my neighborhood, most of the offices appeared to have emptied, and all seemed quiet and well.
I took the following pictures as I left my area. The address on the first picture is, in fact, my office building. The rest of the pictures were taken within 50 yards of the first one, and therefore show downtown Rosslyn (really, Arlington County). We're just fine, but thanks for thinking of us...