What set this off?

Another earthquake rumour, I guess.

At about 10.55pm, there was suddenly a lot of shouting outside and I saw quite a number of people passing by outside with blankets under their arms. There’s also quite a lot of traffic on the street as you can see in the first picture. The van with the flashing light eventually sounded its siren to make cars coming from the other direction back off and let it through. This level of activity is most unusual at this time of night.

rumour001 rumour002

In the second picture, you can see people gathering at the main gate of the school to take shelter.

I assume that some rumour of an imminent quake has gone round again, even although you cannot predict these things. I’m told that the last noticeable aftershock was this morning, possibly just before lunch when Glen and I were talking about the activity in the gym (which is above our office) causing us to think there might be a quake.

Anyway, I’ve just heard from Linda that an announcement about a big quake was made on TV this evening and people have been told to go outside.This seems somewhat irresponsible. When is the quake meant to strike? Er, some time. I wonder where this particular announcement came from. Was it an official source with credible scientific backing? Or did the wife’s brother call with some story he heard from a guy he met in a bar whose mate knows the sister of Sichuan’s chief seismologist’s charlady’s cousin who happened to hear that something might happen at some time in the future because things are known to have happened in the past?

Yes, there might be another aftershock, but that’s what happens after a major quake. And no, they don’t make an appointment before they come calling.

I’ve just had a call from Row. She says that she and Glen have been kicked out of their building, but she couldn’t get a reasonable answer about the time the quake was alleged going to be happening.

The next day. Unless I slept through it, nothing happened. School’s closed today because something might happen. Even if there is an after­shock, it doesn’t really prove anything, because it’s not unreasonable to as­sume such an event might occur. This announcement might’ve been made on TV every night for the past week, but unless we can predict with a reas­onable degree of accuracy when a quake is going to happen, the in­form­at­ion is useless.

[15.08.14. This is an excellent example of the consequence of rumours and a cred­ul­ous, unthinking population. Apparently, so Linda told me later, I made a name for my­self by staying in my flat instead of flocking outside with the sheep.]

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