Land

Okanogan Earthquake

Breaking News: Earthquake: 1:09 a.m., November 18, 2011. Okanogan, WA!

Perhaps for the first time since Mexican drivers drove cattle through in 1858 to feed the California miners who had trudged north to the Cariboo, Okanogan, Washington is in the news. All the time in between it has been living on as a film set waiting for a film.

Where’s a Good Film Crew When You Need One?

Roadside Sign at Okanogan, Washington. An early form of the film pitch.

In between, in anticipation, people have managed to turn their local grain elevator into an Irish Pub. At 1:09 a.m., the big break came and the earth shook underneath Okanogan. Here’s downtown, looking over one of Northern Washington’s kazillion abandoned fruit packinghouses.

Okanogan, Washington, with a View of the Epicentre

The epicentre of the quake is behind the brown hill in the mid-ground of the picture. Warning: CBC News has the epicentre a few miles north, near Riverside. Dang! They need a less picturesque map.

Still, this is ancient country, that has been cracking up ever since it drifted across the Pacific and smashed into North America. The Okanogan Valley itself is an ancient fault line, that has in the past shifted around 100 miles on a north-south line. Obviously, it’s not done with us yet. Here is the valley at Riverside:

The Old Okanogan Fault, Riverside, Washington

All grown up and filled with post-glacial gravel and hayfields. No Irish Pub, though.

Every earthquake needs an Irish Pub. No reported injuries from the earthquake. Well, yeah. As they say in Dublin, ‘Go mbeire muid beo ar an am seo arís.’ Which translates into Okanogan as “May we all be alive at this time next year.”

I’d raise a glass to that.

Categories: Land, News

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