June 23, 2010: Ontario, CA – where “my” Toronto is.

  • Earthquake @ 5.0-magnitude early afternoon (SE Ont, W Quebec, part of NE US)
  • Over 20,000 homes in Ontario reported without power, a few buildings closed down for operation. NO HUMAN VICTIMS reported so far.

  • Heavy rain and tornado (the twister variety!) in the evening (Southern Ont)
  • Other than the small town of Midland, and especially Smith’s trailer park in its centre, no structural damage or injuries reported. Number of injured people around a dozen. NO DEATHS reported.

  • And a flash-back to June 6th early morning tornado, Southern Ontario again
    Leamington worst hit. Damage to buildings, utility poles; many uprooted trees in town and park. NO HUMAN LOSSES.

NARRATIVE
The tornado part of Toronto’s evening
It was just superheavy rain – cats, dogs, Procyon lotor-s (rac(c)oons)… When inside and safe, I actually get a tremendous kick out of watching the elements rage. Awesome beauty – be it a thunderstorm, a blizzard, hailstorm… (Not talking about the “caress” of fluffy snowflakes and warm summer rains on the beach.)

As to the earthquake in the early afternoon
My building shook as I was working on a conference-related ES post. Be proud of me – managed to do Save Draft before I considered getting scared a lot vs. just a little. Must have been thinking (2-3 min – woooow!), since when I thought of looking at the time it was 1:44, and the quake is reported to have commenced at 1:41 pm. Willed it to be over (like the rest of, what, 4 million?, Toronto & area residents), and it’s a good thing it accepted 🙂

Why did I NOT even get out of the house? Because Toronto is “not in an earthquake zone”, AND I really didn’t want it to be. Which is what Midland residents thought, even as the tornado was descending upon them. (see clips below)

Unlike the (ironic) bonding (of neighbours of 1-2 years and more, who “had never had the time” to actually meet) that occurred during the several-day power outage in the summer of 2003, just after the SARS epidemic, no people poured out on the street. I’m grateful it didn’t come to RE-discovering how The Good comes out in people in extreme situations. But that was the case in the small town of Midland, wrecked by a twister – see below the Jessie, James, and Gloria+Wellington story, among a number of others, I’m sure.

 
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Remark 1: My 2nd earthquake, at 5.0-magnitude. The 1st one was in Europe, in the 1980s at 7.5-8-magnitude, I think, in 2 waves. People on the upper floors of taller apartment buildings stayed inside because they had to support their beautifully arranged shelves/cupboards with china, crystal, etc. household ware. Some shattered, anyway. BUT they took out the kids, at least, before it shook the second time.
Remark 2: Authority | Credibility & Veracity | public media vs Citizens’ Journalism (?) | where Governance failed to protect | where Media did not make the danger clear enough… or announcements just slipped by the Attn of People

One can theorize endlessly about all of the above, and much more…


editing changes in this section: June 25, 2010Situated Close-ups amidst Journalism Objectivism
Do you “triangulate” your facts from several sources, then look to come up closeR to the visceral experience through stories of witnesses? Well, I normally do – not this time. [Studying epistemic scope of mainstream media, like I did back in December 2009 for COP 15.] 

In the vein of Donna Haraway‘s theorizations, “objectivity/-ism” is actually biassed, and you can only be “objective” (in the traditionally intended Schefflerian standard knowledge practice way for the “natural” sciences, i.e., establishing “facts”, “truths”) if you accept the actuality of having access only to a “partial” view, since no one is reprieved from “situatedness“.

I’d say, the public has discovered this intuitively, and empirically, judging by the popularity of “the stories of real people”, as opposed to media coverage prefaced by the (by now) advertising-compromised “scientists say/have confirmed/did studies on… and…”.
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Sharing links below: journalists embodying the putative “objective” reporting stance, “real” people in interview (perhaps arguably) representing the “situated” view – to the extent that taken-for-granted “direction” from interviewers can be factored out.

    For 3 (as of 8 pm EDT) June 24 clips, go to the righthand sidebar, click “CBC top stories” tab at
    http://news.ca.msn.com/photogallery.aspx?cp-documentid=24677275

  • storm picks on trailers 4:40 min
  • Jessie Miron [spelling per source, I’d’ve gone for Jesse Mirren, judging by the pronunciation] + James Morrison

  • tornado survivor 10:48 min
  • Jessie & James + Gloria Leduc & her pup Wellington whom they rescued out of wrecked trailer with propane tank leak

  • quake aftermath 2:16 min
  • CBC’s Donnah Thibedeau

    More journalist vantage point articles:

  • Midland tornado damage could reach $15M
  • Midland Mayor Jim Downer declared a state of emergency yesterday, lifted by today, Thu, June 24. He said the community “actually practised for just such a scenario”, and “it’s paid off, believe me. We were prepared for this.”

  • Quake damage shuts church, arena (Gracefield, QC)
  • Gracefield homeowner Lise Proulx called her insurance company to hear that “They do not insure those things because it is an act of God”.

    CBC.ca gallery of photos by citizens:

  • Photos of June 6th tornado in Southern Ontario (AGAIN)
    == Leamington worst hit
  • 2 videos of June 23 twister, recorded by BoNJean near Midland, Ontario.
    == Spout forming, Midland, Ont
    == Twister near Midland – 6:15 – 6:20pm
  • People are joking, laughing, curious but not feeling really threatened!