Tue Feb 26th, 2008 at 10:39:29 PM EST
The UK has just had a relatively small one, which I felt - barely - some 150 miles away.
After an ambiguous creak, the giveaway was realising that my inner ear was telling me I'd just been moved - which is not usually something you expect to feel indoors, especially not when the house is moving around you, and which was a queasy experience I'd prefer not to repeat.
The magnitude was around 5.3 or so, epicentre near Market Rasen, which is about fifteen miles north of Lincoln - a bit less than half way up the UK, near the eastern coast.
There's likely to be some light structural damage around the area, possibly including lost power, which won't be revealed until daylight tomorrow, but it doesn't sound as if there are any casualties.
So - quite the non-event, almost...
...Except that it's given me an appreciation of what a proper earthquake must be like. The UK - and Europe - are still very mildly seismically active, as the Red Puma network shows. The UK occasionally rattles and wobbles slightly, but a cataclysmic mag 7 or 8 is almost vanishingly unlikely here.
Not so much elsewhere in the world. As always, news stops being impersonal when you experience it for yourself, even if it's only in a very attenuated way.
I think I'm going to be much more likely to donate to survivors after this. It's not hard to imagine the roof literally falling in on your head after a much bigger quake, and I really wouldn't want be on the wrong end of that experience without some possibility of external aid afterwards.