I’m A Quake Newbie


As SoCal goes we’re not in incredible earthquake danger. The faults lie elsewhere… or so we’ve been told.  Still, it’s tough to be a new Californian and not be a little obsessed over earthquakes.

The map at the top of this entry shows all the tiny quakes from the last 24 hours.

Earthquake Alert is already installed on my tablet. The filters have been adjusted to show everything “local.”

California shakes often. Most times the shakes are too small to care about.  Without sensitive instruments they’d pass unnoticed.

What an earthquake feels like depends on many factors: the magnitude, your distance from the hypocenter (considering the depth of the quake), the type of soil or rock you are on, the building you are in or if you are outdoors & what you are doing at the time. Under ideal conditions, you are lying or sitting still in an upper floor, right on top of a shallow earthquake, you might feel a 1.8 if you were paying attention. Usually, however, it takes at least a magnitude of 2.0 for multiple people to notice a quake & recognize it as a quake. A 4.0 usually gets a lot of public attention if it happens under a populated area.

Stef has lived in California over three years. She has yet to feel one.  The last one I felt was when I visited California at age 18.

People here tend to be blasé about the little ones and fearful of “the big one.” I’m fearful of any one. I’m a quake newbie.

5 thoughts on “I’m A Quake Newbie”

  1. I felt the last one we had here in CT. That was -more- than sufficient for me. Parents took me to see the movie “Earthquake” in “sensuround” back when I was young and impressionable in the 1970’s. I wouldn’t live in California if they paid me. 🙂

  2. I don’t think I’m ready for quakes either. It takes its toll on me just to think we can and will always get a hurricane..but I think I can handle that more than the ground giving out from under my feet. Miss you here helping us through any of our storms yet to hit this year..

  3. I’ve felt numerous earthquakes over the years and the only one that really caught my attention was one in 1987. I was standing at the kitchen sink. The whole house started to shake. Can goods & dishes starting flying out of the cabinets. The dogs were barking in the area. People’s alarm systems were going off. An electrical line from the house to the garage snapped off and a live wire was laying live on our driveway. The garage door opener wouldn’t work. For that reason, I couldn’t go to work that morning. All the schools were shut down in the area. These are some of the things to expect when you have an earthquake. There was a lot of destruction and it was only a 6.1 quake. One of the worst ones that So. Calif has experienced in recent years was the Northridge Earthquake in January 1994. The couple of earthquakes that CT has felt in recent years were nothing. I would describe them as a heavy truck going down the street.

  4. I was about 90 miles from San Francisco during the Loma Prieta one in 1989. Sitting in my car at a stop light. My car moved like a wave had passed under it. I looked around – thought someone tapped my car from behind. Nope. Happened again. Looked up – traffic lights out. Looked around again. No one else is having any reaction. Look at the lights, now they’re blinking and I think “I don’t know what’s going on but I’m getting out of here!”

    I think by the time I got home I was putting 2 and 2 together but I was listening to a tape and not the radio so didn’t hear the news til I got home!

    1. Nancy, I heard other people say the same thing about World Series earthquake. My sister was at the San Francisco Airport when it happened. She had taken Bart down there. All of a sudden she realized she couldn’t get home. One of the airport transportation company took her back to her apartment in San Francisco. When she got home, she had to walk up about 6 flights. She had no power and or a flash light. She didn’t even own a flash light or a portable radio. Regardless if you live in CT and you experience hurricane & snow storm or you reside in CA, you need to be prepared. This website pertains could pertain to people living in CT or CA.

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