There was an earthquake this morning. It came at 6:25:36 AM PDT. Helaine felt it. Stef felt it. Geoff slept!
It’s the first time in my life I can look at an epicenter and say, “I know where that is.” The plots put it just off Sepulveda, on the Valley side of Mullholland, overlooking Sherman Oaks and Encino in a beautiful area of expensive homes.
Helaine was awake. She knew what it was immediately and noted the time.
“The bed shook and the before it stopped shaking stuff started shaking on your nightstand.”
That’s at a distance of 53 miles.
Up in Hollywood and 45 miles closer to the epicenter, Stef was answering Roxie’s call for food. As they sat on the bed her building started to sway like one of those air powered attention getters that sit outside stores¹.
Buildings are supposed to sway. It’s sway or snap! All modern buildings here are designed that way. That’s why a 4.4 quake did virtually no damage.
In the ’94 Northridge quake there were reports of liquefaction, where the ground temporarily acts like a liquid. None today. No major landslides either. That’s a big worry in areas that have had recent fires.
Earthquakes are a way of life in California. We live over a subduction zone. There is a constant buildup of pressure as the Earth’s crust bends, then breaks. The mythical “big one” will unleash hundreds, maybe thousands, of times the energy this little shake produced.
There are limits to our preparation.
¹ – The closest I can find to their actual name is “wacky inflatable flailing arm advertising men.”