Honey, did you feel the plane move?
September 28, 2004 10:56 AM   Subscribe

This is an odd way to find out about an earthquake in California.
posted by eriko (22 comments total)
And, apparently, it's more than one -- an 5.9 near Parkfield, CA with several aftershocks, including a 5.0.

Hang on, Mid-Cal Mefites!
posted by eriko at 11:04 AM on September 28, 2004

A pretty good shake in Santa Cruz. Enough to send the office downstairs running for the parking lot!

I'll still take earthquakes over hurricanes anyday! Sorry Florida and southeastern US!
posted by fenriq at 11:07 AM on September 28, 2004

what are you talking about?? you know when a hurricane is coming and you can prepare for it -- leave, board up windows, etc. with an earthquake you don't know when it is going to happen and you can fall into the earth. why people live on or near a fault line is beyond me.
posted by evening at 11:34 AM on September 28, 2004

We felt it - though very gently - all the way down here in Santa Monica. Rolled the building some, set the ceiling lights a-swayin'.

evening, we live here because when the ground isn't shaking hard - which is nearly 100% of the time ("five nines perfect" or better, hehe) - California is a stunningly beautiful place with outrageously nice weather and (apart from the "Hollywood" types) some really excellent people, too. :)

Besides, just like it's possible to prepare for hurricanes, one can prepare for earthquakes. In fact, our buildings here generally seem to stand up to quakes a lot better than most places in Florida handle high winds... perhaps in the same way we build quake-ready buildings here, they should build wind-ready buildings there... like this one.
posted by zoogleplex at 11:45 AM on September 28, 2004

Isn't Parkfield the town in which the San Andreas Fault "creeps," meaning that you can see the results of a constant movement, rather than catatrophic jumps?

I remember reading that somewhere other than the link I just found.
posted by Danf at 11:56 AM on September 28, 2004

with an earthquake you don't know when it is going to happen and you can fall into the earth. why people live on or near a fault line is beyond me

Because billion-dollar-damage-causing earthquakes happen a lot less frequently (and are over much more quickly) than, say, hurricanes?
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:57 AM on September 28, 2004

Didn't feel a darn thing here in Burbank/Toluca Lake.

But if any of you did, please submit your experience and zip code to the US gov't Community Internet Intensity Map. They ask for feedback like this after every earthquake, and it's a nice way to help out the scientists (and hopefully improve their predictions).
posted by Asparagirl at 12:03 PM on September 28, 2004

SFGate says there was no significant injury or damage. The area where those quakes occured is kinda in the middle of nowhere.

why people live on or near a fault line is beyond me.

Why people live in and around the paths of major hurricanes is beyond me.
posted by falconred at 12:05 PM on September 28, 2004

what are you talking about?? you know when a hurricane is coming
Living now with Tornados, felt safer with the earthquakes. Because in an earthquake open space outside is a safe place. Compared to going inside and hugging your toilet during a tornado because you don’t have a basement.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:17 PM on September 28, 2004

Having lived through tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes, I have to say my new favorite is our increasingly agitated volcano to the north.

The local news last night did an "24-hour ash dispersal prediction map" right along with the radar, and 7-day forecast.
posted by karmaville at 12:35 PM on September 28, 2004

why people live on or near a fault line is beyond me.

For most places in California, especially the fracture zone south of the San Gabriels, a map showing fault lines ends up looking like a spider web. There's almost no way to avoid it. Not all of those faults can cork one off like the San Andreas can, but still.
posted by LionIndex at 1:14 PM on September 28, 2004

Personally, having lived in Guatemala, Chile and California, I like a good shake every now and then
posted by signal at 1:24 PM on September 28, 2004

A little bit of a shudder felt here in Marina del Rey. A strange experience for this first-time-quake English geezer a long way from home, I can tell ye...
posted by apocalypse miaow at 2:41 PM on September 28, 2004

I saw this photo on Flickr earlier this afternoon... the first I had heard of the earthquake. Another odd way to get news.
posted by maniactown at 3:13 PM on September 28, 2004

I was at the top of a high-rise in San Francisco and the building started swaying back and forth, kind of unsettling feeling in the stomach.

I did get to introduce a few people to the wonderful automated USGS site.
posted by vacapinta at 3:17 PM on September 28, 2004

oh, and take a look at this map with the quake and aftershocks lining up on the San Andreas like beads on a string.
posted by vacapinta at 3:24 PM on September 28, 2004

tornadoes are def. the worst. never lived through one and never want to.

my point with hurricanes is that you can leave. sure, your house may be damaged when you get back, but the earth didn't cave in. and you didn't have to be there.

I understand that the buildings aren't going to necessarily fall down, but the idea of the earth opening up, or a highway falling down, is absolutely horrifying to me. A highway isn't going to blow away from strong winds, but shake it enough and it will tumble over. And I could be driving on that highway, and with no warning I'm screwed. It is the unpredictable part, combined with the effects that bother me. Guess it is just a quirk of mine.

oh, and I grew up in S Florida, and the only major hurricane I had to go through was Andrew. There were a couple of others that were small growing up, but that was the only memorable one. And that was 20 years worth of time. This year is a fluke. So the argument about big earthquakes being rare doesn't float with me. S Florida rarely gets hit with hurricanes -- they all end up in the Carolinas :)
posted by evening at 4:12 PM on September 28, 2004

asparagirl, first thing I did after unclenching my fingers from the door frame was to register the quake as it felt here.

evening, I guess its a question of do you want to see it coming for you or do you want to just have it happen.

The gleeful news reports leading up to the four hurricanes out here were like watching the media get all amped for an execution (and what in the hell were Joe Scarborough and Anderson Cooper doing reporting on the hurricane while out in it, anyway?).

California is better than that 5 nine's mentioned above. A few notable shakes in almost ten years here. How many seriously nasty big time gnarly hurricanes have bashed the east? I stopped counting.

By the way, I do make a point of trying to never stop in traffic under a bridge or overpass. Because I don't want that sucker coming down on me if the earth shakes!
posted by fenriq at 4:55 PM on September 28, 2004

Parkfield is claimed to be the the most wired bit of fault in the world and home of earthquake prediction experiment. It's only 11 years late from it's periodic pattern. Evidently, one of the largest monitoring arrays that would place insturments on a borehole through the fault was still under construction.

evening: Actually, you should probably avoid North Dakota and Minnesota. You are much more likely to freeze to death than be killed in an Earthquake.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:20 PM on September 28, 2004

We have bad drivers in New England. I mean really bad. I live with them all the time.
posted by fluffycreature at 5:25 PM on September 28, 2004

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