Saturday, April 2, 2011

Blackpool Mini-Munt

There was a report in the newspapers yesterday that an earthquake had occurred yesterday in Blackpool. Blackpool was my birthplace and of course the finishing point of my big walk from the Pyrenees last year.

The reports said that the quake was only 2.2 but it toppled traffic lights and cracked a bridge. Despite the date (April 1st) this was a genuine earthquake, which are not as uncommon in Britain as one may think. We were in England for 5 days at the beginning of this year - during that time there was an tremor of 3.7 in Yorkshire - a few days earlier there had been a similar sized one in the Lake District. Apparently there have been 5 in the country during this past week. In 2008 a quake of 5.8, centred in Lincolnshire, was felt over much of the country.

But earthquakes are not so common in UK that they will change the language, as they have done in New Zealand. Christchurch has had so many quakes and aftershocks in the past 6 months that residents can generally tell you the value of each one as it happens.

The word "munted", meaning, to be polite, damaged, existed already. But now it is common daily parlance in NZ, along with its newly-minted (or was that newly-munted) derivatives "mega-munt" and "mini-munt". All three words being used to grade damage to buildings. Mega-munt is really bad news.

We are now far from Christchurch, having transferred, via Auckland, Vancouver, Chicago and Nashville, to the home of Lorenzo and Jane in Evansville, Indiana. This took us two Wednesday (because of crossing the International Date Line), an overnight stop in Vancouver, and a Thursday.


gordon.wright said...

Hello Vic, Re the mini-munt. I live in Bispham and never noticed the quake.The traffic lights (temporary ones)that fell were actually blown over as it was very windy during that night. The bridge which showed signs of cracking was Station Road bridge on Lytham Road this is already designated a weak bridge. I hope you are still keeping well, I met up with you, Gay and your brothers on completion of your walk in front of your old family home. Kind regards and keep safe, Gordon Wright Montpelier Avenue Blackpool

Vic Heaney said...

Hello Gordon. I knew the earthquake was not serious. I was just making a light-hearted comparison with the recent one in Christchurch.

Nice to hear from you.