Washington's Earthquake

One of the most obvious effects of the earthquake yesterday, which seismologists have long predicted could occur, is that many people apparently assumed that it was a terrorist attack. The photo on the frontpage of the Washington Post shows two panicky women, one with her mouth contorted in fear, who are fleeing their office building downtown. Their apprehensions are understandable but they also suggest how habituated the public has become to the notion that a new terrorist attack could occur.