Thursday, August 9, 2007

My First Earthquake

As I was packing clothes last night, I was standing at my bed, laying stuff out. All of a sudden, I heard a huge bang that sounded like my upstairs neighbor hoisted then dropped his bed on the floor. The noise seemed concentrated above me. I looke up and saw the sliding doors shimmy, and I think I saw the ceiling flex out of the corner of my eye. But my three narrow and extremely unstable bookshelves in the hallway, which I plan to secure to the wall one of these days, stayed standing so I figured it wasn't an earthquake, just weirdness upstairs. I thought maybe I should check on my neighbor, but it was 1 am and he gives me a creepy "it puts on the lotion" vibe, so I re-thought that and set aside my packing and went to bed.

I just spoke to my boss who asked if I felt the 4.6 earthquake last night around 1 am. It woke her up. Her husband, my friend, said, "It's just the wind." She felt vindicated this morning when the radio announced that there had in fact been an earthquake nearby. Epicenter was near Chatsworth and Northridge, just over some mountains from me so 4.6 at a 15 mile distance can be felt. Now I know.

I'm not really worried about earthquakes. I've lived in areas that get extremely destructive tornados, Nor'easters, floods, etc... so I figure you pick a place to live and put up with whatever natural disaster favors your area. Of them all, I'm least partial to hurricanes for the record. Earthquakes are something that will either be a problem or won't, and they happen so fast you most likely won't have a chance to worry which side your lot will fall on. Most people live their whole lives in the "won't" category, even in earthquake country. My insurance company doesn't put me in a high earthquake risk category either, and it's their money to lose so I worry even less - my stuff is more likely to pull a Rhoda and be consumed by a fire. I'm fine with my electric stove since it means no gas plumbed through the complex.

But still, for a mere 4.5 which generally means "most people can barely tell there was an earthquake" there was a definite bang with movement. Certainly there have been plenty of earthquakes of this magnitude since I moved here. I have not, until last night, been even remotely aware of any of them except through a friend of mine who is obsessive enough to read a daily earthquake report and reminds me that we have them all the time. I consider lots of little quakes good because lots of little earthquakes releases stress gradually rather than storing it up for the big one. It was certainly interesting to get a little taste of one though.

1 comment:

Junior said...

Hey Cranky Otter!

You know my Meowm! You took a picture of her with an otter in Long Beach! We will have to start visiting you here!!!