Baudrillard uses the metaphor "earthquake" to describe a "form of catastrophy" which according to him is typical of our times. The play of destruction and resurrection ("volcanic eruption") will be replaced by the blasting apart of almost inseparable things, the cracked surface shifting, changing, drifting apart. Baudrillard: "This all serves to acquaint us with the horizontal age of sensations without consequences, where the last act is staged almost like a parody by Nature itself."
Here, it is not the Flood that is being referred to, but rather a primal catastrophy as the beginning of the world: to be exact the great, legendary and mythical orders which are forever monopolizing our attention. The explosion which culminated as an order (principle) in the frenzy following the nuclear catastrophy, appears to have more to do with the present (conversely it also backed up the myth of the Big Bang als being the origin of the universe). The earthquake, the seismic order has, one could say, a more modern and more topical nature confirming yet again that catastrophies adapt themselves to their relevant cultural order. Cities also distinguish themselves through a certain order of catastrophy relative to them, constituting in each case the keen fascination of the city in question. For New York it is King-Kong, black-out and the vertical bombardment. Towering inferno. Los Angeles represents a horizontal break and the gliding away of California into the Pacific. Earthquake.
Today we are confronted with an order which is even closer to mind: it belongs to the system of fissions and immediate diffusion; comparable to a system of waves, a spasmodic order and direct (polar) reversal. The sky no longer falls on our heads, but the ground is now slipping away from under our feet.