Chronicling the creative process for Pop Zeus, the forthcoming Guided By Voices/Bob Pollard tribute comic- including sketches, concepts, finished art and whatever else is in my brain at the moment.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

(We Need Some) Earthquake Glue



Wanted to wish my readers in Japan, Australia and the entire Eastern Hemisphere a belated but heartfelt welcome back! (On a side note, I continue to be amazed at the wide range of Pop Zeus readers and GBV fans- Moscow, South Africa, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Germany, Spain, the UK, India, Japan, Hong Kong to name but a few. Greetings to all my brothers and sisters in rock everywhere!)

As some of the rest of you may know, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the southern coast of Taiwan on December 26th, severing 6 of the 7 undersea cables providing internet and telecom service to the region. According to New Scientist magazine (of which I am a weekly reader, ho ho)...
The 7.1-magnitude earthquake sparked widespread communications disruption in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and elsewhere. Knock-on problems occurred as far away as Australia.

One repair ship is in the damage zone working on Hong Kong's cables, while another is in port receiving repairs for damage sustained in rough seas. Another four are on their way, Ha says.

"If we can get just one of the six broken cables back in service, Hong Kong's internet capacity can be brought back to normal levels by the middle of January," he said. The rest would be repaired by the end of the month, he added.



Upon reading the news, I was reminded of the series of small earthquakes here in San Francisco before the Christmas holiday. They were centered across the bay in Berkeley, along the terribly dangerous Hayward Fault. As I recall, they were all around the petite 3.5 or so magnitude range. The first one was on December 19th, then two in quick succession on the 22nd and 23rd. And boy, did I feel them! In the Presidio, where I live, each quake felt as if our building had been hit by a truck, a short but strong jolt that rattled the windows and made everything jump (including me and my dog Timmy). In the 6 years I've lived here, they are only the 2nd and 3rd earthquake that I've felt.

So when I flew home for New Jersey later on the 23rd, I thought I might be getting the heck out of Dodge before a big one hit. Alas, things seem to have calmed down since. But you never know. According to the USGS, there is a is a 62% chance of at least one magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake "capable of causing widespread damage, striking the San Francisco Bay region before 2032". Hooray!

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