Friday, April 18, 2008

Dd the Earth Move for You, Baby?

When I woke up at 4:37 CDT this morning, I knew instantly what was going on in spite of the facts that (a) I had just woken up from a deep sleep; (b) We don't get a lot of earthquakes in Indiana; and (c) that was the strongest earthquake I've ever personally experienced.

So I hopped out of bed while the doors were still rattling and went downstairs to my computer, where I immediately went to the USGS' Earthquakes site. It took a while for their data and map to catch up, but I eventually got confirmation of a 5.2 earthquake, the strongest we've had in this area in about 40 years.

If you've read this blog in the past or if you look back through the archives, you'll know that I spend a lot of time harping on people to contribute to science in whatever way they can. Well, I had forgotten about this until today, but the USGS has a way you can contribute in events like this.

On the Earthquakes site, there is a link called "Did You Feel It?" which you can click on to report how you experienced the earthquake. This information makes it into their database and is aggregated by ZIP code to help the scientists gauge the intensity of the quake and figure out how it affects areas differently.

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