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swarm? - Terrafactive Armageddon

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September 26th, 2004

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10:28 pm - swarm?
One of the 'event warning' email lists I subscribe to sent out a message late last week that Mt. St. Helens was undergoing a swarm of earthquakes. Swarm? I thought, since somewhere along the line the word acquired the connotation of motility. Yes, the earth moves during earthquakes, but -- well, the more I think about it, though, it begins to make sense. A swarm of bees is full of movement and vibration, even when it isn't traveling anywhere in particular. I suppose the notion of a swarm does lend itself to the idea of motion in stasis.

Anyway, linguistic peculiarities aside, it sounds like the swarm of earthquakes may have been a precursor to less quirkily named geologic events. The Pacific Northwest Seismographic Network (which both UW and USGS are involved in) has issued a Notice of Volcanic Unrest. "Increased probability of explosions from the lava dome", even.

Terrafactive Armageddon indeed. When the earth rises up to throw off the shackles of her oppressors, it doesn't promise to be pretty. Ok, my tongue is pretty firmly in my cheek here, but I can see some of the millennialists having a field day. Earthquakes on the west coast, volcanos muttering to themselves under their breath; hurricanes on the east coast...

Do what you can to be safe, eh?

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