Nostalgia and Thoughts: Earthquakes in Kansas!?



          When did I move to California or the west coast? I don’t remember making the move but I must have because we are experiencing earthquakes. On March 8th at 4:49 a.m. we had another earthquake in Hutchinson that was 3.9 on the Richter scale. This one was to close for comfort. It was centered only about 10 miles from our house, just south of South Hutchinson.

This one hit with a bang, an actual bang, and jolted the bed and the bi-fold doors in the bedroom and rattled the mini blinds in the Pella windows. It was not as bad as some we had last year but woke me up when the bed jumped. I first thought someone had hit the house with a truck or something fell on the roof.

When I was growing up in Kiowa County and until just a few years ago there weren’t any earthquakes in Kansas. The closest ones were in Missouri, but only rarely, and that was years ago. Most people that grew up or chose to live in Kansas were happy that the earthquakes were on the west coast and not in Kansas or surrounding states.

I read a prediction several years ago (this would happen several centuries in the future) that California and a lot of the western states in the U.S. would just drop off into the ocean and that the western border of Kansas and other states in a line up and down across the U. S. would become the west coast. I remember thinking that it would be after we were long gone and we didn’t have to worry about it.

Now with the fracking that is occurring around Oklahoma and Kansas, the prediction is a little scarier. They have stopped the practice in parts of Oklahoma and we have not had as many as we were for awhile. I wonder if the earthquakes are going to continue in Kansas. They said when they stopped fracking in Oklahoma that we wouldn’t have anymore earthquakes here in mid Kansas.

It has been quite a few months since I felt one but guess they were wrong that they would stop completely. This last one didn’t seem to be as strong as some of those that happened before but I don’t like any of them. There is no warning before they happen and you can’t see them coming like a tornado you can see on the horizon nor does the siren go off to tell you to take cover or get ready.

I wish I still had my tornado dog, our black Cocker. She could detect tornados when they crossed into Kansas and would try to get me to go to the basement even when they were an hour or more away from our house. I am betting that she would have been able to feel an earthquake before it happened. They say that livestock and other animals can tell before they hit.

I remember the first one we felt here was a pretty strong one and the whole house jolted when it hit and the glasses in the cabinets rattled and you could sure feel it while sitting in the chair. Even the fan in the dining room rattled when it hit.

The first one was a total shock to everyone but somehow I knew what it was. I had never experienced one before and that one really shook me up. If I remember right it was in the evening and I was watching TV in the living room. I could hardly wait for the news to see if actually was an earthquake.

One of the quakes hit when I was sitting at my desk at the computer writing my book. I sit in a secretary’s chair and it sits on a clear plastic mat and I always have my feet up on a little stool under the desk. It was the strangest feeling when that quake hit because it wasn’t a jolt to the house but the whole house seemed to be riding on an ocean wave.

The secretary’s chair I was sitting in started to move in a gentle circle on the mat. I had never felt anything like that before. I wondered if it was anything like being drunk. People say when they are drunk and go to bed; the whole room spins unless they have one foot on the floor while laying there. This must have been a similar feeling.

So are earthquakes in Kansas going to be a normal occurance from now on? I sure hope they stop completely since most of the fracking has stopped. Maybe they will get farther and farther apart and of less intensity, but I am sure most Kansas residents are ready to have zero earthquakes. To contact Sandy: [email protected]




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