Flutterby™! : California's shaking.....

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California's shaking.....

2002-05-14 13:27:10+00 by topspin 7 comments

like an angry child will, who has asked for love and is unanswered still....
--- Jackson Browne

I guess it's normal for ya'll, but I'd not be comfy with this. I hope everyone's fine and nothing's been shattered but china and dreams in California.

WARNING: javascript ahead. California as I see it.

[ related topics: Bay Area California Culture Earthquake ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-05-14 14:08:12+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yep, felt it up in Fairfax. It was a gentle one up here, felt like the cat jumped on the sofa where I was sitting, and the house creaked a bit, by the time I figured out it was an earthquake (and not just a strong wind) it was over.

And we're rebuilding the dreams.

#Comment made: 2002-05-14 16:23:07+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

I should also comment that Charlene snickered when I asked "was that an earthquake?" and then proceeded to go look up the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program - Northern California page. Various snickerings about being a California newcomer, and the fact that the biggest earthquake I've felt was a 5.0 in Bolinas that knocked books off the store shelves in San Anselmo where I was.

#Comment made: 2002-05-14 17:41:09+00 by: Diane Reese

Wheeeeeee! That was the biggest earthquake I've ever felt, although I've only been in the Bay Area since '97. (I did feel the '84 NY earthquake, but it was nothing like last night's.) The flipping FLOOR was wiggling back and forth under my feet, and the computer monitor was shaking. I know, I know, I'm just a novice and it's not a "real" earthquake, but it was exciting, in a slightly scary way. It's not so hard to get comfy with it, topspin... at least until something tragic happens, I guess.

The movement was surprisingly like that earthquake platform simulator they have at The Tech Museum. Next time I'll snap to what's going on a little sooner than I did this time: in retrospect, it's a Bad Idea to have all those bottles of booze on an open shelf right over the computer chair...

#Comment made: 2002-05-14 17:53:29+00 by: Dan Lyke

A few folks who went through the Northridge quake (or the '89 Bay Area quake) have said that there's a threshold before which they're fun, and after which even the small ones are scary. I thought that the one in Bolinas was that threshold for me, but last night's didn't cause any sort of visceral "Oh no, must find a door frame" reaction in me, so I guess it wasn't.

#Comment made: 2002-05-14 22:34:17+00 by: Dori

Tom says: "I lived a mile and a half away from the Northridge epicenter, and I can report that it was one of the scariest events of my life. It was just as well that the lights failed instantly, because that way we didn't have to see the tall dresser dance across the bedroom floor and then fall over. The aftershocks didn't get much press play, but some of them were darn strong and they lasted for days. Basically, every time you started to relax, another fucking aftershock would roll through and freak you out again.

"Unlike Dan's acquaintances, though, I'm not freaked out by small earthquakes now, but if the earth starts to rumble, I sure as hell pay attention and don't blow it off."

#Comment made: 2002-05-14 23:20:30+00 by: Robert Scoble

I was 20 miles from the episcenter of the 1989 Loma Prieta shake (rated at 6.8 or 6.9) and last night's wasn't even close. I didn't even bother getting off the couch.

Earthquakes are fun in that they wack you out of the boring life you are probably living to remind you that you are not in control of your life. They are scary for the same reason.

After 1989 I can't feel anything less than a 5.0. A 5.0 to 6.0 will really wake you up. Larger than a 6.0 is terrifying. I hope I don't experience bigger than 7.0's. At least not when I'm in a brick building.

Interestingly enough, a 5.2 in some countries could kill thousands of civilians. The damage all depends on building materials and soil conditions.

#Comment made: 2002-05-15 17:51:30+00 by: Dan Lyke

The Chronicle post-event article mentions the differences between this and the 5.2 in 2000 in Napa that caused $60m worth of damage.