The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Earthquake in Singapore.

Yesterday, as I sat before my computer, in the early evening, at home, something odd began to happen. My chair began to rock back and forth. Now, being quite a heavy man, I blamed, at once, the structural integrity of the chair and stood up, fearing that it was about to collapse beneath me.

I looked at the chair, as I stood, and it seemed OK. So I sat again, and again I felt it rock back and forth. It was then that I conceived the idea that, perhaps, the rocking was not due to my weight, but to the world itself: an earthquake was in progress.

To back up my belief, there was a knocking sound filling the building, which reminded me of the sound a waste chute in an earlier house had made during an earthquake: a rhythmic throbbing.

Today, I read in the newspapers that quite a big earthquake had struck Indonesia...7.6 on the Richter scale, which is really quite huge. This leads me to wonder: how safe is Singapore from earthquakes? Surely, if I could clearly feel this one, in Singapore, there must be a level of earthquake which would lead to damage in Singapore, even if it were centred on Indonesia? What if a much bigger earthquake struck nearby Indonesia...would buildings in Singapore then begin to fall?

I wonder this because Singaporeans are so used to being safe. Have the buildings here, been designed to withstand earthquakes? I did worry, yesterday, at all the shaking done to my home...could such shaking do any harm?

I ask these questions but I know we will not get any really solid answers. The authorities will always say: "It could not happen here"...until it does happen and then they will say: "We could not have known...".

It would be good to have information on what level of earthquake, at what distance from us, would cause harm in Singapore. Does anyone have that information? If so, please comment below.

My sympathies go out to those who may have been hurt, or killed, and their families, in Indonesia. At present, there is no substantial information about casualties. I wish people well, there.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:23 AM 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you check with the Singapore authorities if building structure must withstand to earthquake ?

In Indonesia there are 1-6 grades.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Valentine Cawley said...

No, I haven't...that might be an idea. Thanks.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all right then.....

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there I had the same train of thoughts as you and since we can feel tremors, it would have already registered as a small scale earthquake above magnitude of 3.0 (any lesser than that cant be felt but since we did, it is obvious) I guess that slight tremors will not cause harm to our infrastructures in Sg, however, if a bigger one were to come it may be devastating, esp in the marina bay area as the land there is based on reclaimed land susceptible to liquefaction. But rest assured, Singapore is largely on granite which is a solid bedrock, hence reducing the shake altogether. Plus our buildings are strictly adhered to buildings codes, hence the foundations are strong.

11:58 PM  

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