Today at 1:43 pm an earthquake happened in the middle of one of my physics lessons. The students didn’t quite know what to make of the shaking and vibration they felt and asked me what had just happened. I said I thought it felt like an earthquake. I was able to look it up during the break between the 7th and 8th period. It turned out to be the biggest earthquake in the area for two and a half years: 4.4 on the Richter scale. The epicentre was about 15 km from my school.

Everyone talked about the earthquake for the rest of the day. One of my colleagues said it was the first earthquake he’d ever experienced, which quite surprised me because I have only been living here for the past 14 years and have felt at least three quakes I’ve posted about plus one I mentioned and another I clearly remember because someone told me they had dreamed the books in their shelf had danced – only to learn that it had not been a dream.

Two stories about missed earthquakes: I spent five weeks at a highschool in Hesperia, CA in 1992 and had wondered about earthquakes before going. Of course, there was an earthquake in Hesperia during those five weeks – it happened in the few days we spent in San Francisco, so we didn’t feel it. And on the day after we returned to Hesperia, there was one in San Francisco.

Earthquakes are rare occurences in Northern Germany, so I never experienced one while growing up. One of the very few quakes there occured on October 20, 2004 only about 10 km from my parents’ house. Of course, they happened to be visiting us on that day, so they missed it as well…

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