Californians, did you feel the quake?
May 13, 2002 10:28 PM   Subscribe

Californians, did you feel the quake? This 5.2 quake was near the surface which, according to the San Francisco local news, allowed it to travel farther than usual. Did you feel it? If so, where? Did it create any problems? Was anyone at the Sharks game?
posted by emptyage (39 comments total)
I hope this isn't too local, but I assume there are a quite a few of us who felt it. But this really shook me up. Lasted a long time. I live near the upper haight in San Francisco. It really made our apartment sway.
posted by emptyage at 10:30 PM on May 13, 2002

i'm im'ing with someone who felt the quake but the lights didn't go out or anything. apparently most of the sharks audience thought the quake came from all the activity on the ice, and wasn't a quake.
posted by pxe2000 at 10:35 PM on May 13, 2002

Felt it. Live in the East Bay, Danville (south of Walnut Creek). Lasted about 20 seconds, and was a slight sway. Nothing major.
posted by ericdano at 10:35 PM on May 13, 2002

I don't think anyone who was at the Sharks game has made it to a computer yet. It's only been half an hour.

Of course we felt it here in the Mission. I'm curious about how far up and down the coast it could be felt.
posted by jjg at 10:36 PM on May 13, 2002

Rockridge positive, baby. That was one of the most pleasant earthquakes I've ever felt. Gentle side-to-side rocking. I felt dizzy for a minute afterward because it came on so slowly and confused my sense of balance.
posted by scarabic at 10:40 PM on May 13, 2002

Well I was watching the Sharks / Avs game on CBC and the quake caused the cameras to shake and the commentators remarked how the whole booth shook for about 10 seconds along with the rest of the upper deck.
posted by yupislyr at 10:41 PM on May 13, 2002

Made our apartment (Inner Sunset, SF) sway for about 2 seconds...and a bit of rattling. It's the first quake I've felt since moving here a year and a half ago. Popped my earthquake cherry!
posted by jkottke at 10:41 PM on May 13, 2002

Ericdano: you've obviously been through more of these than I have. This was just the fourth I've felt, and this was by far the largest. I was just proud that I made it to the doorway, rather than bolting outside for the shaky steps (rookie mistake).

The USGS has some really cool maps, btw. They're the same ones I'm looking at on Channel four.
posted by emptyage at 10:43 PM on May 13, 2002

I live in South Beach, SOMA, which is all landfill. Felt a strong rolling feeling. Really weird.

I was in the middle of posting a weblog note when it hit. My note on the quake hit at 10:01. Time for the earthquake, 10:01.

SF Gate, has more info.
posted by shelleyp at 10:46 PM on May 13, 2002

The first earthquake of my two years in California (Berkeley, to be precise). Curiously, I found myself immediately looking forward to the next one. Aftershocks, anyone?
posted by ztt at 10:48 PM on May 13, 2002

I was sitting on the floor, talking to my daughter on the phone when I yelled out, "Holy s*** we're having an earthquake!" It was a short, sharp, up-and-down shaking, about 10-12 seconds in length. I live at the extreme northwestern end of Marin County, where the head of Tomales Bay meets the Pacific Ocean, and the San Andreas Fault runs right up Tomales Bay. There is something uncanny about feeling and hearing your whole house shake. The hairs on my arms rose immediately afterword, and I sensed an aftershock about 15 minutes later that was more like a vibration than anything.
posted by Lynsey at 10:50 PM on May 13, 2002

I'm about ten miles from the epicenter, so I couldn't have missed it. Did I run for a doorframe like my Hawaii upbringing taught me? No, I popped up the posting screen for my weblog as fast as I could in case the power went out. Doh!

It wasn't a violent quake, quite nice actually.

I love that USGS site; it's the perfect example of how amazing the Internet can be. An earthquake happens and it gets measured, analyzed, and the data displayed on the web, all without human intervention.
posted by Nothing at 10:51 PM on May 13, 2002

Oh yeah, for some reason, at the moment the quake hit, my new Mac crashed for the first time. Kernel panic. Weird, huh?
posted by jjg at 10:56 PM on May 13, 2002

After dinner in Berkeley. Four out of five at the table felt it. Suzanne felt very left out. It was a sharp shock and a few seconds of swaying. More of a thrill ride than an actual scare. Sam who was upstairs watching a tape of Sam Fuller's White Dog said the bed shook a lot. Willy (the dog) was pretty much unaffected, but Spot the cat freaked and headed outside not yet returned.
posted by Mack Doggy at 10:58 PM on May 13, 2002

I felt it. I was going to post but decided it was too local. The weird thing was within a few minutes after the quake the Chron was calling it sub 5. It obviously was > 5 and they corrected it soon after. The usgs real time text list still hasn't caught up but the Chron is updating quickly.

The quake felt like a short small shake followed by a slightly larger roll. I didn't feel any aftershocks though. BTW, I'm in Santa Cruz which is maybe 20 miles from the epicenter.
posted by rdr at 10:59 PM on May 13, 2002

One quick jerk is all I felt (in Oakland), so I am perplexed by people (mostly people calling the radio station I'm listenting to) saying it lasted 30 seconds.
posted by obfusciatrist at 11:05 PM on May 13, 2002

Vacapinta and I were having dinner in Noe Valley, deep in one of those endless philsophical discussions about what we should do with our lives. Talk about a wake-up call! We both dove for the doorway first, and and the UsGs immediately after.
posted by zia at 11:07 PM on May 13, 2002

By the way, now that mother earth has the attention of those of us that live in the bay area she'd like to point out that earthquakes aren't the only bad thing that can happen [from alt.surfing].
posted by rdr at 11:14 PM on May 13, 2002

Ericdano: you've obviously been through more of these than I have.

Awww...t'aint nothin.
Ihh member back un eighty nahn...
mussed us up good.

Loma Prieta. Noda mean?

* The little ones are kind of cute, aren't they?*
posted by a_green_man at 11:14 PM on May 13, 2002

I didnt feel it at all! We were taking a walk after dinner at 10 PM. And I live in Campbell ...not too far from Santa Cruz.
posted by justlooking at 11:17 PM on May 13, 2002

Definitely felt it here in the South Bay (Mountain View). I moved here from Chicago in January and I always wondered when I'd experience my first earthquake. I guess it didn't take too long. It's more disconcerting than I thought it would be, especially having grown up as a flatlander for most of my years.
posted by rowell at 11:20 PM on May 13, 2002

Apparently I had my headphones on loud enough and was tired enough that I felt and heard nothing on Bart, around Macarthur. Didn't know until they made an announcement. Took forever to get home, tho, as the trains had to do the "go slow in case there's rubble on the tracks" thing.
posted by feckless at 11:35 PM on May 13, 2002

Felt it here in Hayes Valley (near City Hall in San Francisco). Seemed like a tremble then a significant rattle for about five seconds or so. I was on the phone with Kevin Smokler out at Stanyan & Haight and he felt it good too.

Congratulations, Jason! Fun at this size ain't they?
posted by MetaGrrrl at 11:40 PM on May 13, 2002

That earthquake you felt was just the precursor to an Av's/Redwings western conference championship. ; )
posted by crasspastor at 11:45 PM on May 13, 2002

obfusciatrist : Remember that quakes vary widely depending on what type of ground you're on. Somebody a block away may have a completely different experience than you do. I had about 10 seconds of "boat rocking" and I was thinking "Jeez, when the h*ll is this thing going to end?"

rowell: Yeah, I hear ya. I always have to explain to relatives back east that little earthquakes happen all the time here, and it's more disconcerting than scary. (Apartments are not ... SUPPOSED to move like boats!) A friend moved here from Chicago in '89, and stepped off the plane just minutes before the big quake. Falling ceiling tiles, screaming tourists, the works. I'd have been on the next plane back.
posted by swell at 11:57 PM on May 13, 2002

I felt the rolling at 10 p.m. Waited for a couple minutes to ride it out, and crawled back out from undermy desk once I realized that nothing was crashing down around me.

My Fluke CD didn't even skip, so I guess that means either our technology is very advanced, my house is very secure, or that was a relatively minor quake compared to the "Big Ones".
posted by Down10 at 12:06 AM on May 14, 2002

I was taking a nap (in Berkeley) earlier this evening, and I dreamt that my bed was trying to throw me off.
posted by epimorph at 12:15 AM on May 14, 2002

and when the tsunami hits hong kong a week from now, i'll know who to blame...
posted by bwg at 2:10 AM on May 14, 2002

Tips for earthquake survival sez: Avoid doorways!
posted by milov at 5:35 AM on May 14, 2002

Oh that? That was just the "Arco Arena Thunder" (15K people stomping their feet in unison) from Sacramento... we were all celebrating the Kings victory over the Mavericks... ;-)
posted by darian at 8:08 AM on May 14, 2002

I was taking a nap (in Berkeley) earlier this evening, and I dreamt that my bed was trying to throw me off.

Say hi to Captain Howdy for me.
posted by Kafkaesque at 8:51 AM on May 14, 2002

I imagine all you Bay Area folks are now an inch or two closer to Alaska than you were the other day. . .*smile*
posted by Danf at 9:04 AM on May 14, 2002

It was my first earthquake too... after almost 3 years in California. I was lying in bed watching TV, and it felt like being on a boat with waves pitching everything around. I live in Potrero Hill in a big concrete loft.
posted by popvulture at 9:24 AM on May 14, 2002

Felt a wide rolling sway in our apartment building (wooden, I was on the second floor). I'm in Walnut Creek. It was so gentle and non-threatening that I didn't think of running outside. Those who were on the first floor (concrete foundation) felt nothing.

People in Foothill (a berkeley dorm) said there was a lot of rattling. People in Cory hall felt nothing. Cory has meter-thick walls.

Never felt such a strong one before, although I routinely feel smaller ones.
posted by azazello at 11:15 AM on May 14, 2002

It was a wimpy little quake. It was a mild rolling quake, like a distant cousin of Loma Prieta... which was a strong rolling quake that, while not strong, didn't want to stop. Loma Prieta was surreal in the South Bay, because it did very little damage down here, except for Santa Cruz and Watsonville. However, it resonated up along the fault and played havoc with the North Bay's landfill.

The most powerful quake I have felt was being near ground zero for the Morgan Hill quake of '84... a 6.2 quake that was relatively short, but it had the strongest horizontal earthquake acceleration ever measured up to that time, with a shaking force one and a third times the force of gravity. It was a quick jolting quake that took everything in every cupboard in our house and made it move 18 inches to the north. Broken bottles of wine, hard cider, and bell jars full of preserves everywhere. The house required considerable work on the foundation afterwards, like many of the houses. One of the nearby houses burnt to the ground very rapidly due to a gas leak.

The thing is, a repeat performance of the 1906 earthquake is kind of overdue. Loma Prieta wasn't even close to being the Big One. We're talking a magnitude 8 that lasts for a good minute. Nobody will be safe from it when it hits.

For those who have experienced their first earthquake, all I can say is it gets worse... a lot worse. The dotcom boom has busted, so now might be a good time to consider trundling back off to wherever it is you came from before you face your doom. Besides, think of how much I will you will save on rent if you leave! ;-)
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:32 AM on May 14, 2002

er... In regards to Loma Prieta, I should say "a strong rolling quake that, while not that jolting, didn't want to stop."
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:37 AM on May 14, 2002

insomnia, I thought Loma Prieta was pretty jolting. It broke every piece of glass in my kitchen, and I lived on Fulton and Stanyan (hill). Sept 17, 1989, watching the Giants/A's game, then all of a sudden BOOM CRASH! It knocked me over an I couldn't get back up for about 10 seconds! What a trip.
posted by culberjo at 3:13 PM on May 14, 2002

That earthquake you felt was just the precursor to an Av's/Redwings western conference championship. ; )

You misspelled "Sharks/Redwings" there, crasspastor. Just a tiny boo-boo. :)
posted by diddlegnome at 7:57 PM on May 14, 2002

"insomnia, I thought Loma Prieta was pretty jolting. It broke every piece of glass in my kitchen, and I lived on Fulton and Stanyan(hill). "

You'd think that would be less prone to shaking, but from your description, you obviously had it much worse than where I live. Check out the materials map for where you live--it's rated as having a high risk of shaking amplification.
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:51 AM on May 21, 2002

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