Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Great Toronto Earthquake - 2025

It's done!

You just experienced an earthquake, and you are stunned. You've never experienced anything like this in Toronto, and nobody warned you. What the heck just happened? It started with a loud buzz and rumble, like a big truck rolling by, and then the house started to shake, and everything started crashing. You just awoke in the middle of the night, and all the power is off. Going to be tricky, since this is January, and it's 20 below outside.

All you hear are car and house alarms, wasting their batteries. Where's some light? Luckily, you have been somewhat paranoid, and have a flashlight in your night-table. "I'm glad I listened to that crazy earthquake guy."

The light goes on. Shit! I'm glad I didn't have that trophy case near my bed! Your memorial World Cup solid brass vuvuzela has punched a big hole through your computer keyboard! Could have been my head!

You are a typical young person, living in a trendy house on the beach in Toronto. As you go through the house, you see other shelves and items thrown to the floor. It's a bit more than the stuff you usually throw on the floor! "Oh, I have to phone Hank about this", and you pick up your iPhone20, with the hologram display, and use the 3D finger gestures. Damn! No signal! Double damn, no internet! You give the phone the finger, and it starts playing 'Eye of the Tiger'.

It's starting to get cold. Good thing my electric car is charged up, I can get out of here! You look outside, and the snow is starting to cover a giant pile of bricks that covers your car. Should've had that chimney fixed up years ago!

At least you are in a house. You think of all those people in 100 story condos. Their rooftop pools will have sloshed down the staircases, and they have to walk all the way down to go out to solid ice. How many will survive? Where can they go? The owners will instantly close the building to cover their rear-ends until they can get a seismic blessing.

As you walk around, you step on your old emergency radio with the wind-up crank. Do they still do radio anymore? You crank it up, and as you expect you get nothing but automated infomercials. But on one station, there is a live person:

"Nevil here! Of Nevil Radio. They told me I was a crackpot having the last live radio station, but here I am in the emergency shed. The old generator started up in the swirling blizzard. I don't know how much time I have, before everything conks out and I start to freeze, but let's give it a try, what? I'm getting this open-mike feed using my radio scanner, even though they were banned after the G20 by the Digital Copyright Act. Here it is:

"This is Chief Big of IntForce1. We may have had an earthquake, but I can't be sure of that, since it's not in any of my manuals. I don't have very many people, since they went on billion dollar holidays after our big billion dollar terrorist sweep. The annual sweeps must be working, since we've never had any real terrorists, only those crazy people we pump up. I'm sure my people will be back someday, but the airport is closed.

Normally, I'd be going to our billion dollar command centre on top of the Trump Tower, but we've had a little trouble with our luxury pool. I'm told the operators are recovering nicely. For the alternative, we'd fire up our billion dollar Transformer Armored Mobile Command Centre, but the garage door is jammed. Not much use going into the streets anyway, the snowplough operators just abandoned their trucks to run to their loved ones.

We must appear to be strong. The people always believe that behind closed blinds we have a full house. Ooops, is this mike on?

"Nevil here. Well, that feed closed fast! Lucky for us, guess who just tramped into our shack with his Inuit hunting gear on -- Crazy Earthquake Guy! Geez, you must be 90 about now!

CEqG: "Not quite, Nevil, the frost makes me look older. Too bad that sun started to cool down, made those warming guys look like idiots. Anyway, I felt that an earthquake was coming, so I started trudging over here, and looks like I was right. This is a real earthquake, not like those punk M5's in solid rock, with no PGV, all blather and no hiss!

Using my mystic earthquake sense, this was an M6.5 on the Hamilton Fault. The directivity pulse made straight for Toronto. We got hammered with a PGV of 10 cm/s. Amplification makes that 1 m/s on soft soils and the top of highrises. All the power is toast, the nuclear plants are all shut down. The only lights you see are the natural gas flares, and exploding transformers.

This will make the Big Blackout look like a picnic. The nuclear stations have no black start capability. Even if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered the nukes back up, they are poisoned out, with no power to crank them up. That stupid Niagara Tunnel has probably cracked!

Nevil: "Geez, what are you going to do?" "Well, I'm going back to my igloo, where I have a nice coyote roasting. The hunting was good today!" "That sounds great, my generator is starting to sputter." "Well, come along then!"

The radio station went dead. You know that no help is coming, until Mel Lastman Jr,Jr,Jr, calls in the army. You prepare the house for freeze-up, draining all the water, etc. Like the CEqG, you also have full arctic camping gear, and can melt snow for water. You crack open the window a bit, start the camp stove, and prepare for the long wait.

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