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quake report

At 8:04 PM I was sitting in an Una Mas restaurant in Redwood City with bastette_joyce, waiting for our food.

firecat [*thinking*]: "bastette_joyce is tapping her foot really hard."
bastette_joyce [*thinking I'm tapping my foot*]: "Either you're very impatient for your food or we're having an earthquake."
firecat [*watching the wall ripple*]: "We're having an earthquake."
Other people in the restaurant: [*Looking up alertly like a bunch of meerkats*]

I tried to use my cell phone to send a text message so I would remember the time, but the message failed multiple times. That worried me—where I was, the quake wasn't so strong, but it lasted a long time, and I didn't know but maybe it was on the Hayward fault.

So when we got home we went to the computer and looked up the quake on usgs.gov. Fortunately it turned out not to be too serious.

Overall not nearly as exciting as the Loma Prieta quake (I was in a swimming pool in Cupertino at the time). Thank goodness.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
firecat
Oct. 31st, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
Our food arrived and we ate it...but as we were there close to closing time we didn't annoy the staff by ordering pie afterward. :)
genomekelly
Oct. 31st, 2007 09:52 pm (UTC)
"watching the wall ripple" may be the scariest phrase I've heard today

Say it again.

I was living in Pasadena when, just over 20 years ago, the Whittier Narrows earthquake struck. It was a Friday morning, I was asleep, and the crescendo of sound & vibration first seemed like a really big truck rolling down the street.

Then I bolted out of bed, "Oh fuck, this is an earthquake!" I shouted to nobody. I dutifully stood in a doorway for a couple of seconds, before I shouted "Oh fuck, my thesis!"

I walked to my dining room table to _manually park the heads_ on my Mac Plus external hard drive (this was October 1987, after all): I needed to safeguard my dissertation files. As I went through my tiny apartment, I noted the walls & floor & ceiling all flexing.

That evening was the start of the Jewish day of atonement, Yom Kippur. It was the _first time_ in my entire life that I attended every last one of the holiday services.

Whittier Narrows was a Richter 5.9 with epicenter ca. 10 miles from my apartment. The aftershock sequence that weekend included a Richter 5.1, if memory serves.

It was a rather jarring sign that, perhaps, my time in California ought to draw to a close.

Seven years later when the Northridge earthquake collapsed an apartment building, I was very disturbed to discover that my old Pasadena apartment was of near-identical construction to the one that fatally failed.
femmediva
Oct. 31st, 2007 02:09 pm (UTC)
I'm glad everything is ok. Loma Prieta was the first thing I thought of when I heard the news this morning.
firecat
Oct. 31st, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah - I guess we can thank the earthquake deities for giving us a timely reminder of the risk without serious damage or injury.
kwamee
Oct. 31st, 2007 02:53 pm (UTC)
Just another October quake?

Tell me more about your pool shaking experience, were you pushed in a particular direction?

In '89 I was walking home from college and I remember enjoying the motion utill I looked up and noticed the swaying power lines above my head! :)
firecat
Oct. 31st, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC)
I was in the middle lane and just felt a big jolt. I swam to the edge and held on while the shaking continued. A wave in the water traveled from the lower left to the upper right, from my vantage point, and the guy in the lane next to me was thrown out of the pool on the wave. The guy wasn't hurt, he just danced around excitedly saying "WOW! That was cool!"

The pool was associated with an Apple building (not where the Apple campus is now). I was in the pool instead of in my cube on the 7th floor because I had taken a training class of some kind that day that had let out early. The folks on the 7th floor were pretty badly shaken up; monitors were flying around and stuff. I'm glad I was in the pool instead.
demonspawnmom
Oct. 31st, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC)
Glad you're ok! I haven't been able to get to the news, what's the damage?
firecat
Oct. 31st, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC)
Damage is pretty minimal, thankfully. Here is a news article about it.
bastette_joyce
Nov. 1st, 2007 01:27 am (UTC)
LOL. Here's an excerpt from that article:
"The top three floors of the library remained closed today as staffers worked to reshelf hundreds of thousands of research books and academic theses hurled to the floor by Tuesday's moderate earthquake.
Maybe some god or goddess doesn't think much of academia?
"Library page Frances Marin had one word for the scene that greeted her when she arrived this morning for her book-shelving job: 'Yikes!'"
And I'll bet that's not exactly what she said. :)
firecat
Nov. 1st, 2007 02:26 am (UTC)
"These are not research books and academic theses to be tossed aside lightly. They should be thrown with great force."

(Apologies to Dorothy Parker.)

Parker wrote of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged:
This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
theycallmebeth
Oct. 31st, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
I don't know if I could stay calm if the walls started rippling. I've never experienced anything like that and we don't get much of that kind of activity up here. It would totally freak me out!
firecat
Oct. 31st, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't say I was calm when the walls started rippling, but I didn't panic because I've been in a big earthquake and could tell this was a small one, at least in the location I was.

When I first came to SF as a tourist, I went to the California Academy of Sciences where they had an "earthquake table", a platform you could stand on that mimicked the way the 1906 earthquake felt. I stood on it and it felt "fake" to me.

Then a year or so after the Loma Prieta quake, which I experienced, I went back there and stood on it again. That time it felt real and I was scared!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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