We’re still picking up good vibrations. A couple of days ago they were particularly noticeable – 1.65 on the local scale, to be precise, which doesn’t mean much to anyone because they don’t use the Richter scale in Kiruna. The reported level of vibrations, on LKAB’s website, was 3.20 millimetres per second. Let’s just say when it happened I screamed, fairly loudly. Nothing fell off a shelf. Then in a second everything was back to normal, sort of.
It happens so often you just feel a bit stupid reacting to it, but at a certain level I can’t seem to help the scream.
At the time of this ‘seismic event’ (as they are called) we were gathering together our things for a day in the fjäll, a planned walk near the Norwegian border to the west. Later we learnt we missed a second ‘seismic event’ in Kiruna an hour later.
It’s caused by collapsing ‘hanging wall’, the bit left over after the ore is extracted. On the one hand we accept it almost without comment, but on the other hand, you do wonder.
Meanwhile, the (possibly vibration-damaged) heating pipes in the hole outside our house are still exposed to the world. We’re not sure what the problem is, why they haven’t covered them up again. One doesn’t know, in Kiruna, what’s going on underground.
Take our local bank, for instance, Nordea. We don’t often have reason to go there, but last week we needed a new ‘old’ card reader (long story, new technology not working, old card reader not with us). We were surprised to learn they were still in the old town, very close to where a lot of buildings are being demolished at present. When we looked it up we didn’t quite believe it – because it’s often like that, an address given is the old address, in the old Kiruna, and the company has either left town altogether, or moved to the new town. But this time it was true, it really was there, near all the barricades and works people stripping the neighbouring high rise of materials.
The bank’s own hole in the wall had been removed, but inside the branch it all looked very normal. Enquiring of the staff when they would be moving they said sometime in the autumn, probably. There’s a lot of local culture contained in that word, ‘probably’.
A few days later we read in the news that LKAB (the mining company) had told Nordea they had to move urgently, within the week. Those good vibrations just keep on coming.