Author Topic: CA Earthquake  (Read 1892 times)

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  • Fat, Emo Robot
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CA Earthquake
« on: August 28, 2014 09:32 pm CDT »
Some of you may have heard via national news that there was an earthquake in northern California, near a town called American Canyon. Magnitude 6.0 IIRC. Well, I happen to live in American Canyon, and that was my first real earthquake, and it was pretty nervewracking. I just wanted to share my experience with you guys, for posterity sake.

At approximately 3:00AM, a magnitude 6.1 earthquake damaged the calm of the townsfolk of the north bay region of California's Bay Area (for out of staters, that's San Francisco and the surrounding land that is close to the SF Bay and is ~100 miles in radius and includes dozens of cities, including the one I was born in). The Bay Area is prone to earthquakes since it lies directly on the San Andreas fault line: a very active and large tectonic fault line that has been unusually quiet for the past century.

The last "major" earthquake was in 1989, somewhere east of SF, and that was a M7.0 I believe. Today's was north-east of SF in the town of American Canyon, which is a suburb of the larger city of Vallejo, and is just south of Napa (the famous California wine region). As it happens, I live in American Canyon and was 6 km from the epicenter of the quake.

I was fast asleep when it started, and I awoke to a loud crash and a large back-and-forth oscillation of my bed. That went on for about 10 seconds, but I heard from others that the total duration of the quake was around 20 seconds and steadily grew in intensity as it went on. Seeing as it was my first real earthquake experience, I promptly freaked the fork out. As the quake subsided, I hesitated for a second, then heard my roommate yell "Hey Josh! Are you awake? Did you feel that??". I immediately got out of bed, put some pants on, and rushed to my doorway....and stayed there for a solid 30 minutes before slowly creeping out.

Every few minutes, I would hear a creak and see doors slowly swing back and forth, and I worried that every oscillation would lead to another large follow-up quake. We tried to turn on the lights: the electricity was out, and so was the water. Great. There was one slightly large aftershock, but I slowly found the courage to crawl back to bed. I curled up in the fetal position, worried sick that the roof of my untested, untrusted, and run-down house would cave in on me if there was a large jolt. Minutes seemed like hours, and I slowly drifted off into sweet rest until....

I felt my bed rock back and forth again, though this time not as bad. With the electricity out, my window fan wasn't running, so I could hear every creak and groan in the walls of the house. But what freaked me out the most was that I could actually HEAR the oscillations of the Earth below my floor. It sounded like a subway train was running underground, right beneath my house. A low, constant rumble with a faint, haunting howl, like the brakes of a train being lightly applied at a distance.

Nope. No way. fork that noise. I'm not sleeping. It's 4AM and jump right out of bed (never having bothered to remove my clothes from the previous time) and I go out into the kitchen. My roommate is already in there, checking things out. I guess he couldn't sleep either. So we look around, and he says "oh malarkey, hey Josh....check out your desk...."

Welp. Awesome. And I've been awake ever since. Went to IHOP at 6am for a cup of coffee and breakfast, since my kitchen know...out of order. Water was restored around 9AM, and power will be restored around 4PM (hopefully).

That was a scary experience.


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Re: CA Earthquake
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2014 07:41 pm CDT »
Wow, glad everything turned out OK. Never experienced anything like that over here in NY. Looks scary though  :o
Jonah, PCRPG player since 2002.