Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Astrid's 1st Earthquake

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 jolted large parts of Southern California late this morning. It was centered near Chino Hills, about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The quake rattled buildings in downtown Los Angeles and was felt as far east as Palm Springs, and as far south as San Diego.

I was in a meeting in my office in Pasadena and we felt a huge rolling motion. Like most Californians (used to earthquakes, but still attentive enough to make sure it's not a huge/dangerous one), we paused to see if it was going to continue or not, and when we felt the second one hit, we all said "yep it's an earthquake" and got up out of our chairs. The second one felt stronger and was longer lasting than the first and an expletive may have slipped out of my mouth as I tried to walk to the door, having difficulty as the floor beneath me was rolling up and and down like a wave.

I immediately tried to call my family but the phones were down. Not just the landlines, but there was no reception, so even cell phones weren't connecting. It was an eerie feeling. Just last night U. and I talked about getting earthquake insurance for our home - and U. said "we haven't had an earthquake in a while - we're due for one." Nostradamus or what? Luckily although it was felt for miles, it wasn't even close to being as powerful and destructive as the Northridge earthquake where buildings and freeways collapsed. My parents live near the epicenter and they were fine, and there was no damage.

I finally got through to Astrid's preschool and the Director said they were just fine and they were trying to calm the children and talk about it and explain what an earthquake is. Astrid's first earthquake - and a new vocabulary word!

When I picked her up from school I thought she would be a chatterbox about her experiencing the earthquake, but she really didn't seem all that excited about it. When I asked her if she felt the earthquake today she said, "Yeah, it was scary." And I got out of her that they had the children go underneath their tables - to stop, drop, and cover. But other than that she really didn't seem too interested in the topic. Just like a typical Californian already.

1 comment:

Peter said...

wow .. scary stuff ... and great that Astrid is getting used to it early on ... just like thunder .. I recall having read some emergency document that under the table is actually not the safest place ... but heck .. what do I know ...

Julius had experienced 2 quakes, but I doubt he recalls anything ...

I am still waiting for a big fiji vacation update with tons of pictures :)