Friday, 14 September 2007

Singapore Rock & Roll

Two earthquakes in two days (closer to 2 in 10 hours) makes you think, or at least wobble on your chair. If I was closer than the +700km of these two, I'd be more concerned. Having lived in Japan induces a familiarity and hence lack of concern, although if I thought about it, I would say I am more confident of Japanese building design & construction.

The first one was around 9:10pm and induced a slow, gentle swaying to my chair for what must have been 30 - 40secs. The second at 7:10 the following morning was a repeat and at 7.8 and 8.4 on Mr. Richter's fun scale, they are impressive expressions of natural energy for the distant observer. An R8.0 quake is rated as a Gigaton of TNT equivalent which sounds impressed but rather glosses over facts like the quake was 30km underground. And it's a log scale so R8.5 is a lot bigger than R8.0 and R12 means the earth cleaves in two.

And that's it. No more drama, no damaged buildings or injuries. The office facilities dept. sent around an e-mail confirming all was well, that "Singaporean buildings are built to withstand earth tremors" and offered helpful advice in such circumstances, including the ill-phrased "buildings are not normally cleared to avoid causing panic but staff are free to auto evacuate".