Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I am Moved

Along with the rest of LA, San Diego and as far away as Las Vegas.

Earthquakes, when they are not life-threatening, are interesting. I lived in an earthquake area in China, in a four story concrete building of the kind that typically pancake during severe earthquakes, but luckily, never experienced so much as a shimmy.

So today was my first earthquake. It didn't actually fit any of the descriptions of earthquakes I've heard. It was rolling. Things just kind of shook, and there was a bang somewhere in the middle of it. More interesting was that about half of the audience went outside, and about half of the audience stayed at their desks. I would have thought that the office reaction would neatly divide along the lines of those who had earthquake experience and those who did not. (I went outside.) But it did not.

Immediately afterward, all the Californians were trying to guess what it was on the Richter scale. That is apparently typical. The news says it was between 5.4 and 5.8.

The lights in the office didn't even flicker.

12 Comments:

OpenID ellen-datlow said...

I've felt rolling earthquakes...they're weird, aren't they? I've experience a few different kinds (all in California --well one in NYC but I thought it was the subway)...

Hopefully this will take care of the LA quakes for the next six months, as I'll be there late Sept/early October. ;-)

July 29, 2008 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to the club! I was in San Francisco for a trade show in October of 1989 and caught the Loma Prieta earthquake.

Put on Jan and Dean singing Sidewalk Surfin' or Jerry Lee Lewis doing Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On.

Stuart

July 29, 2008 10:21 PM  
Blogger jesswynne said...

When I lived in South Pas I felt a few; mostly waking up and feeling, well, like someone rocked my world. It kinda felt nice, but they were small quakes.

July 30, 2008 9:20 AM  
Blogger SquidgePa said...

I had a boss that would run from the building every time we were hit by an earthquake when I worked in Burbank. He damaged the drywall behind one of the doors once.
I distinctly remember the Northridge quake, and another that the local media called "Shake and Bake", since it happened in the morning after a few days of very hot weather. There was also one that woke me with an adrenaline rush at four o'clock in the morning, and I tripped in the bolted for the doorway to my bedroom. I spent the rest of the morning cleaning my apartment after that.
There are two kinds of waves from an earthquake, the primary waves and the secondary waves.
Primary waves are perpendicular to the Earth, and travel faster than the secondary waves. Secondary waves move side to side. Primary and perpendicular start with a 'p'. Secondary and sidewaise start with an 's'. The further that you are from the epicenter of the earthquake, the more time lag between being hit by primary and secondary waves.
If the epicenter is far enough away, you can distinctly feel the different types of motion. I remember that rapid sense of acceleration up and down, kind of like from an elevator, from the primary waves, where you make eye contact with anyone in the room, and everyone realizes that its an earhtquake, then the quick side to side jerks and snaps as the secondary waves hit.
The closer you are to the epicenter, the more overlap, and the feeling of rolling waves.

July 30, 2008 11:10 AM  
Blogger SquidgePa said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 30, 2008 11:11 AM  
Blogger Adam Rakunas said...

Yeah, that was quite the way to kick off lunch. I'm on the third floor of a 10 story building in North Hollywood, and we had some serious rolling action.

We also had absolutely nothing from building security about evacuating or staying, which was another reminder to put together an earthquake kit for the office and to update the food in my car kit.

July 30, 2008 1:55 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

The biggest one I've ever felt was in Santa Cruz CA a few years back, and it was a lot like a bulldozer giving my house a single hard shove, with some pictures swaying on the walls. I've felt other smaller ones that were sort of like being in a boat in choppy water, but just for a couple of seconds. I think the kind of structure you're in has an effect on how it feels too.

August 01, 2008 12:51 PM  
Blogger Oh. It's Kristen Again. *sigh* said...

not really on topic, but man i spend too much time on the internet. I thought you misspelled "flicker" :)

August 04, 2008 5:55 PM  
Anonymous nick said...

New experience in earthquake.

August 25, 2008 1:48 AM  
OpenID maryturzillo said...

I was in the only earthquake I ever heard of in Ohio. I was on the upper floor of Kent Trumbull's commons and it felt like somebody had maybe dropped the floor a quarter inch. I knew it couldn't be an earthquake, because Ohio doesn't have earthquakes.

But when I picked up the newspaper the next day, I found I was wrong: it was an itty bitty baby earthquake.

I suppose I should write a haiku about it.

Commons floor jiggles.
Students look up, think ho hum:
Dean had a tantrum.

Oh well -- I tried.

September 14, 2008 1:01 AM  
Blogger The Kitty said...

I've sold Lymphoma Information Network to a web company. I have a new smaller site http://www.hodgkinshistory.com/

Hope you are well, Mike

September 14, 2008 5:48 AM  
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March 24, 2009 3:13 AM  

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