OUR VIEW: Mainers marvel, laugh after 4.0 quake


This popular Facebook meme appears to have been created by Tyler Deaton from Manchester, N.H., though it has been used for other minor earthquakes. As of 1 p.m., the I survived the 10/16/2012 Earthquake Facebook page had more than 86,000 likes.

Winston Churchill once said, "Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result."

The same can be said for earthquakes that, thankfully, result in no injury or loss of life, like Tuesday evening's tremor.

The minor quake originated in southern Maine and was felt in states as distant as New Jersey.

When it was over, and we realized it was a quake, most of us found the unusual experience exhilarating and were eager to share it with family, friends and the Sun Journal.

OK Californians, you may mock our naivete, but it was pretty cool.

With the newsroom on speed dial, I was the first to call our Managing Editor/Nights Peter Phelan who said the staff had felt nothing in our solid brick building, nor had they received any calls.

"Wait," he said instantly. "OK, the phones are ringing now."

Phelan later said that while he was on the phone with one person three or four others left him voicemail messages telling him of the quake.

I was watching a recorded "Daily Show" when the quake hit and my first thought was that a car with big vibrating bass speakers was outside. 

Then I thought, that would be weird since I don't even know anyone with a car like that and I live 100 yards off the road.

Then my son came bursting in from the detached garage. "Did you feel the quake?" he said.

Quake? Duh. That hadn't occurred to me at all.

Many of you took to the Sun Journal's Facebook page and, Wednesday, responded to our request for first-person accounts on sunjournal.com.

A lot of us must have old furnaces or boilers, because our first reaction was that the darn thing was malfunctioning in the basement.

Others thought a snowplow was coming down the street, forgetting for a millisecond that it's mid-October and there's no snow on the ground.

Trucks were apparently on the minds of many. Peg Anderson said the quake was "like a Mack truck driving through our kitchen in Scarborough."

Christine Hill Kingdon of Leeds said on the Sun Journal's Facebook page that she "thought an 18-wheeler (was) coming thru the kitchen! Really loud!"

The LeVasseur household of Poland had multiple first-thoughts, according to Lynda's post on Facebook. "Tim thought it was our heater kicking on and I thought it was a truck on Rt. 26 ... we are both shocked to find out we were in an earthquake."

Elaine Gurschick suspected something even bigger. Located on the town line of Turner and Hebron, she thought it was either the "furnace about to explode or a train going by."

Heather Crawford told us on Facebook that she was disappointed. "Darn it, I was driving and felt nothing," she said, adding the frowny face emoticon.

Rita Lockard Quinn jokingly thought it might have something to do with the Mayan calendar prediction that the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012.

Jess Lynn Harvey said on Facebook that she was sleeping and the quake woke her up. "My house shook and a couple of pics fell."

Dottie Perham-Whittier said her "kitchen walls shook terribly," and Rebecca Longley in Auburn thought "it was an airplane or a train wreck. It was loud."

Jeff Schumacher felt the quake but suspected some friends were messing with him:

"I was just leaving work in Kennebunk, and two or three 2nd shift employees were just entering the building. I sat in my parked car, reviewing emails on my phone, when my car began rocking back and forth as if someone were pushing on my trunk.

Assuming it was one of the guys messing with me, I didn’t even look up from my phone. After 25 seconds or so, I thought 'I’ll fix this jerk' and put the car in neutral so it would roll back slowly … No one was there. That was when I realized I just survived the great quake!"

Kathryn Skelton, writer of the Sun Journal's "Wicked Weird" series, first suspected something wickedly weird was about to happen — to her!

"I had just stepped into son's room and suddenly the closed doors on his armoire started banging together for at least five seconds — bang! bang! bang! — and I'm thinking, what's about to fly out of that thing?! Of course, my thoughts go to ghosts. An earthquake was a distant second guess.

"My husband checked the washing machine, checked the furnace, then confirmed: Earthquake."

Jason Theriault of Auburn took a delightfully facetious tack:

"Looking back at the big one of 2012, I know I will never be the same. I think I have come to terms with it, accepting what it has done to our families and community. With all that we lost that day, I think that if we can overcome and one day thrive again, then we will truly be able to make our peace with it.

"As for me, I will always remember where I was when it hit: Eating meatloaf with my family, oblivious that anything had happened until the Internet told me of the horrors I was about to witness firsthand."

And finally, there was this photo, posted on Facebook by Tyler Deaton of Manchester, N.H., and reshared by our Web editor, Pattie Reaves:

10-16-2012 We will rebuild!

Tyler, that's the can-do spirit that made this country great!

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Amedeo Lauria's picture

That wasn't an earthquake....

...it was just God reminding us who is really in charge of things!

Steve  Dosh's picture

Mainers marvel, laugh after 4.0 quake

Rex 3 pm est ?
l o l ?
We call 'em e a r th SH ake s •  
4.0 is substantial /s Steve

Jason Theriault's picture


Made the highlight reel!


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