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Even though it’s been a few days now, it’s worth writing about. Tuesday we had the biggest earthquake I have been through. It was first reported as a 5.6 and then dropped down to 5.4. Previously the largest quake I had been through was 4.5 which was many years ago and managed to wake me from sleep. I wondered what happened, heard stuff shaking and promptly went back to sleep.
I also felt a 3.5 a few years later in an old office building in old Pasadena. The building just swayed for a few seconds and that was it.
So in nearly 13 years of living in California that was the extent of my earthquake experience. 2 smallish quakes in 13 years. But on Tuesday we had what would qualify as a a ‘moderate’ quake. This time I was in a downtown office building. On the 6th floor.
There was a crash and I thought somebody had dropped something large, then I noticed that the blinds on the windows were swaying. It last a few seconds. It felt like, maybe 10-15 seconds, but other reports indicated it could have been as long as 30 seconds. It was never really very scary for me, but I must have known somewhere deep down that it wasn’t a serious quake. Most people in the office were OK with a couple of notable exceptions. One young lady had been in China when that BIG quake hit so she was rather traumatized and stayed under the desk for quite awhile. After the monster she went through there, it’s hard to fault her worries.
The other couple of folks were newbies on the earthquake scene and they were a bit discombobulated for the rest of the afternoon. Probably a healthy emotion.
I think it’s a real testament how seriously California and the LA area are taking retrofitting and earthquake preparedness. There was next to no damage anywhere in the area. A couple of ‘photogenic’ collapses were mostly attributed to old and decrepit buildings which were condemned.
Otherwise I saw or heard no sign of any real damage. Now a big quake, 7+ would be on the order of a 100 times bigger would be a different story.
I must admit I enjoy these ‘little’ displays of mother nature’s power. And if I can experience this power with me or others getting hurt, so much the better.

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