A minute-long quake is in the high sevens, a two-minute quake has entered the eights, and a three-minute quake is in the high eights.By four minutes, an earthquake has hit magnitude 9.0. The speaker at the lectern was wondering if he should carry on with his talk. Then it ticked past the sixty-second mark, making it longer than the others that week. The seats in the conference room were small plastic desks with wheels.
A minute-long quake is in the high sevens, a two-minute quake has entered the eights, and a three-minute quake is in the high eights.
As the shaking started, everyone in the room began to laugh.
Earthquakes are common in Japan—that one was the third of the week—and the participants were, after all, at a seismology conference. Seismologists know that how long an earthquake lasts is a decent proxy for its magnitude.
The 1989 earthquake in Loma Prieta, California, which killed sixty-three people and caused six billion dollars’ worth of damage, lasted about fifteen seconds and had a magnitude of 6.9.
A thirty-second earthquake generally has a magnitude in the mid-sevens.
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Although the novel is light in subject matter, Sheppard does not shy away from highlighting Helen’s blackness and addressing important issues about identity and belonging.
One of the main challenges that Helen faces, is her feelings of loneliness and not belonging within her new family dynamic.
The building itself was base-isolated, a seismic-safety technology in which the body of a structure rests on movable bearings rather than directly on its foundation. The base was lurching, too, back and forth a foot at a time, digging a trench in the yard. His watch swept past the three-minute mark and kept going.
Oh, shit, Goldfinger thought, although not in dread, at first: in amazement.