A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Friday, July 20, 2007

Here Comes the Big One - oh, never mind......

I live in earthquake country. This morning there was a 4.2 quake at 4:42am in the Oakland area. We didn't feel a thing, nor did most of the people in the Bay Area unless they were very close to the epicenter. But, anytime we have a quake, the news stations feel it is their moral obligation to get as much mileage out of it, and to instill as much fear, as possible. Today was no exception.

Reporter: We're here with the seismologist - what was the EXACT magnitude of the quake?
Seis: 4.2
Reporter: Have there been any aftershocks?
Seis: Yes, one measuring 1.4 - not enough for a human to feel. Although it might bother some animals
Reporter: Can we expect more or stronger aftershocks?
Seis: Well, any quakes that happen on this fault for the next couple of days would probably be considered aftershocks.
Reporter (looking very seriously at the camera): So, we need to be on alert for the next two days and, if your pets start acting funny, that may be a sign of another quake!

By now it was 6:00am and the tv station was getting desperate for footage or stories of damage and (if they were lucky) injury. The finally managed to find a donut shop in Berkeley that had a window break and ruined a batch of fresh donuts. The man who was working there told his horrific story about coming in and finding broken glass. We saw that clip every 15 minutes. Then, FINALLY, someone found a window broken in a Safeway which led to dire warnings that the store would open an hour later than normal. The best was an actual, live video of the destructive force of this quake. Camera in a 7-11, man walks in, puts something on the counter. As he leaves, you can see a bag of beef jerky or something shaking on the rack. Man turns around, looks at shaking bag, and walks out of the store. There you have it, folks. Rampant destruction with the human factor involved. And, yet, they were desperate for more.

Male Reporter: If you've have any damage in your area, take a picture with your Instamatic and send it to us.
Female Reporter: I think you mean digital camera - you're dating yourself!

And everyone had to get into the act.

Traffic Guy: Here's your traffic report at 6:42 - exactly TWO hours after the earthquake! No accidents or delays, although they did run BART a little slower for a few minutes to be sure the track was clear.

The poor Weather Guy tried, but he couldn't come up with anything. So, the biggest story of the day was the ruined donuts. Granted, that's a sad thing. But what's sadder is that we will now have the next week filled with the same footage, warnings about a 30% chance that we will have an big one on one of the faults in the next 10-30 years. That sounds like a word problem to me so I don't know what the heck it means.

I think I'll just go see the Harry Potter movie.


kathy said...

But who is going to bring out the donuts?????? call cnn.

news people are idiots.

Jenni said...

HA! I didn't even fell the earthquake or know we had one!

Desert Diva said...

Hey, stay safe out there in that "dangerous territory!"

Wendy said...

Sounds like The South when there is a chance of snow. The bread and milk go flying off the shelves and they close all the schools. Coming from Indiana, this cracked me up the first time it happened. The snow here melts before noon if they do get a measurable amount! I'm pretty sure no one will starve to death before noon!