One hundred miles (160 km) north of the earthquake's epicenter, in Vancouver BC, the earth moved. Slightly. Office buildings downtown wobbled for a few seconds and a few plants were evacuated and a school near the border closed because of cracked plaster. People clogged the phone lines to ask each other, "Dude, did you feel that? Like, whoa."

The earthquake was 100 miles away. It was a 6.8 on the Richter scale. To us, it was over in thirty seconds. There was no real damage.

Most of our news coverage was focused on what happened here, person-on-the-street type. It was only a few minutes into the newscast did any information surface what was going on down in Seattle and Olympia. The news on tv showed a few crushed cars, a bridge out and facades crumbled in the older district of Seattle.

Over the next few days, I am sure that the newspapers and airwaves will be full of earthquake prevention information, such as "don't call right after the earthquake and jam up phone lines" and "if the earthquake is stronger than 7.3, Richmond will sink into the ocean and downtown Vancouver will collapse into a pile of glass shards". I'm just worried that people will shrug off this earthquake and not think about what might happen next time.

What if?

The question may register in my mind, long enough for me to ensure that I have bottled water on hand and some canned goods. Then I'll forget about the threat and just think how it felt when the ground started moving and I wasn't even sure what was going on.