Posted by: wordofexcellence | March 31, 2011

The Moodus “Noises”

I actually wrote this one a few days ago, after seeing an article in the local newspaper, The Hartford Courant.

Amusement consumes me today as I read the headline, “Earthquake rattles Moodus.”

Moodus is a small town  in Connecticut, almost 20 miles from Middletown, where I grew up.  When I was a child, I learned about the “Moodus noises” from my parents.  Of course, the source of those noises were little earthquakes that were taking place. 

We used to be able to hear them from our home, and it was always kind of a treat – there was nothing else like it in the area.

So why am I amused today?  Well, the quake measured 1.3.  It’s a little difficult to ramp up any enthusiasm for being “rattled” when we’ve only recently witnessed the aftermath of a seismic shock in Japan that measured 8.9 or 9.0, depending on your source.  Of course, I don’t anticipate an almost-immediate tsunami to raise up and threaten us from the Atlantic Ocean, also about 20 miles away.

The “event” actually occurred about 5 miles from Moodus, at 8:42 pm on March 23, 2011.

Much to my chagrin, on the following day, I learned more about what had happened.  To wit –

I wrote yesterday about the Moodus Noises, and how I found it odd that we’d be alarmed at a 1.3 scale earthquake, particularly in light of the tragedy that has beset Japan in recent days.

Picking up the newspaper a day after my scribbles, I took note that townspeople in Moodus were unaware of what had transpired in town; that they heard “a loud booming sound that shook the hills,” and that emergency responders were scrambling to determine the source of the noise.

Apparently, in excess of thirty firefighters searched for two hours searching for what they thought was a propane tank explosion.

The town’s emergency management director, although forewarned about the “noises” by “old-timers” who “talk about feeling their house shake and hearing loud groans,” had never experienced “anything like this.”  Nevertheless, he took it upon himself to contact the U.S. Geological Survey in this instance, and their findings confirmed the earthquake as the culprit in all the racket.

Methinks the townspeople in the future will give consideration to hiring someone with a better understanding of the region, the history and the likelihood that the “noises” aren’t just random events, but that they are, in fact, earthshaking.

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