Saturday, April 28, 2012

And, the Earth moved...

What a way to wake up!

Ok, what was your first thought?


Seriously, the Earth moved.  At a 3.8 magnitude (downgraded from the original 4.1), to be exact.  The largest earthquake I've yet experienced, I think.  Very short shake to the whole house.  Some pictures moved a bit and now need to be straightened.  That's it.  LOL

I'm laying in bed, contemplating the idea of getting up, feeling sluggish and slow...  Wiggle, wiggle SHAKE.  Alrighty, then, I'm WIDE awake now.  Chris comes in, saying "we just had an earthquake".

"Yeah, I felt it, too.  I thought it was Diva having one of her scratching fits again...  Think there'll be any more?"

"No idea, but maybe we should get dressed..."

How can we be so calm?!

When earthquakes get mentioned, my friends back in Winnipeg all have that panicky reaction that makes me grin even now: "Get yer ass out of that natural-disaster of a state ASAP!"  That was my buddy, Corey, after the Easter quake that smashed Baja in Mexico.  That one was so big (Magnitude 7.2), we felt it up in Valley Village (I keep wanting to say Value Village- any 'Pegger reading this will understand) as a roughly magnitude 3 ripple (my guess) that made me a bit queasy.  It was also the longest tremour I've felt, at that point (still the longest, as of this writing) at 90 seconds of gentle swaying, the sensation reminiscent of being on a boat on water.  Slow lead up of ripples, then a short stretch of stronger movement, then fading away to nothing.

What amused me more, was finding out just how poor most of my friend's education in geography was!  They heard "Baja California", and immediately thought my area of "California, United States" and promptly went into panic-mode: "Oh shit!  Terrakian's out there!", forgetting that California, as a land-mass, extends into Mexican territory as a peninsula...  Cue a lot of frantic emails and calls...  I had to tell them that I was fine, the epicentre of the quake was actually over 300 miles away, in Mexico, where "Baja California" is the Northern part of their country:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Baja_California_earthquake

Quakes are interesting, and sometimes terrifying, things to me: I had no idea when I moved down here, that they had such a variety of "feel" to them, either.  I thought it would be harder or lesser shaking- but essentially the same in overall feel- with things moving in that circular, Coriolis motion I always found so odd and fascinating in earthquake videos...  Instead, I've felt that Coriolis motion under my feet, making me feel as if I was unstable, on a moving platform turning in the breeze, and about to fall down (messes with the inner ear, I suspect), a loud rumble that shook the apartment, opening cupboard doors and setting hanging things to swaying, that slow weak-weak-stronger-STRONG-stronger-weak-weak wiggle of the Easter Quake, and a loud "double knock" of a RAP! RAP! on the building that was so sudden, and so fast, I almost didn't realize what had happened until it was over.

This morning, it felt like a large vehicle had gone past the house... or, like my cat, Diva, was scratching furiously at her ear, like she does so often.  That kind of shake-shake-shake back and forth motion.

Incidentally, this morning was the first quake I've felt while up here in Crestline.  This area isn't known for having many quakes, but we do get them, on occasion.

Oh, and we live on the San Andreas Fault, along with a host of lesser faults that are, apparently, more likely to shift.  I wonder what a large quake would feel like up here?  What kind of damage could I expect?  Yup, still weirdly calm, asking silly questions.  Why?  Because earthquakes are a feature of living up here, they're fascinating, they're scary and they're, oddly enough, kind of fun.  Go figure.  I'm sure I wouldn't be so sanguine if a high-mag quake hit our area- I think about what happened to Chile the same year as the Baja quake and shudder...

But, you got to admit, that's one hell of a "wake up call"...

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