Sunday, May 17, 2009

I. Hate. Earthquakes.

Note:  Update - It's now Tuesday around 3:55pm PT - and we had another one on the same fault line.  This was a 4.1 with a big jolt!   Grrrrrr!!!!!!

We interrupt this blog for an earthquake.

So hear I sit, trying not to hyperventilate, because we just has a fairly big earthquake in Los Angeles.  For the record-- I.  Hate. Earthquakes!

It's Sunday night, so all the local news networks have their "B" teams working.  Only one is actually even broadcasting at the moment.  Gawd forbid, local news interrupts national prime-time programming to report live breaking news.  (It's about 8:45pm PT).  Nothing against them, but it's a skeleton crew and they haven't said anything other than-- "Whoa!  Did you feel that shaker!"  Seriously, that's what the Sunday night news anchor had to say.   It was not comforting.

Ten minutes later, I still know NOTHING.  Not how big, where it was centered or the size of the aftershocks. What do I know? Well, I know it lasted 15 seconds (that feels like 2 hours in earthquake time) and started with a grumble that turned into what sounded like a helicopter hovering over our house-- A weird, vibrating feeling and not an earthquake noise I've heard before.  

My husband was upstairs and he said it was really swaying up there.  Down here it vibrated so instantly-- and for so long, that I actually yelped.  (Yes, I yelped, and no, I'm not embarrassed for being such a wimp.)  In the past several months we've had a lot of earthquake activity and well, damn it!  I'm not liking it.

I was raised in Ohio where earthquakes are rare (as in-- never in my lifetime) so you can imagine how much fun this is for me.  I lived in Los Angeles in 1994 when we had the last really big ass one-- The 6.9 or 7.2 shaker depending on who you're talking to. It was nasty and our house broke.  After that one, I spent two weeks sitting in my wide open back yard away from anything that could fall on me (again).  If I wasn't a brand new newlywed at the time, I'd have pried open our garage door, gotten in my car and driven East as fast as I could.

Did I mention I.  Hate.  Earthquakes?

Oh, now the girl on the news announced it was a 5.0 quake. Crap.  That's big, although she's calling it "moderate".   I'm sitting in my tv room, looking across the hall.  All of my hanging pictures (big paintings) are cock-eyed and crooked.  My husband is running around the house checking for cracks and object on edges (object bounce off shelves in earthquakes).   I gave up checking for cracks years ago. There is no such thing as "crack-free" walls in Los Angeles.

Crap-- There's another aftershock-- A slow roller.  I feel seasick. Grrrrr.  And the 5.0 was centered 10 miles from here.  Dang!

So now the tv news girl is getting all fired up and using words like "violent shaking", "dramatic vibrations", "frightened, mortified, hysterical callers into the tv station" (No, not me). Oh, really now,  she's not helping at all.  I need to find another channel.  Nothing.  I'm turning the tv off-- And thinking god we still have power. There is nothing worse than an earthquake at night with no lights!  

Ahh, that's better, I turned  on a portable radio and am sitting in the back yard.  It's freezing outside but I feel better now.  The old guy working the Sunday night radio shift has been through this a lot and is so calming.  I can almost breathe again.

Shit--  Another aftershock!  The aftershock mentioned about was a 3.1, this one feels a little smaller.  Phew.  

Why on earth I'm blogging is beyond me, but I somehow feel safer since my husband has LEFT ME ALONE  in the back yard to poke around in the basement.  Don't worry about me honey!

There's a caller on the radio talking to the old guy.  She's upset about her Winnie the Pooh plate collection falling off the shelf in the earthquake.  I don't know if I should laugh or cry.

Great-- They just lowered the rating to a 4.7 earthquake,not a 5.0.  Why is that not more comforting to me?!?

It's been about 5o minutes now.  The radio guy is saying no injuries reported so that's great.  Maybe it's okay to go back in the house-- To put on all my cloths, my sneakers, my coat and my hard hat, along with my emergency whistle around my neck. Then I'll try to settle in and get some sleep..... Or not.

Thanks for keeping me company.  

Welcome to TheFiftyFactor  -  Joanna


  1. OMG, who would have thought - I am getting real time news as its happening from you before our media gets it.

    I am glad you are ok but its frightening to say the least. In my city there has only ever been one minor quake and I recall I was woken up by the building swaying(I was in an apartment block at the time). However, just yesterday I was talking to a friend who had been involved in a major earthquake in another city in Autralia some years ago. Very rare.

    Take care and maybe you should camp in the backyard.....for a while. I am an absolute paranoid chicken when it comes to these things.. as for the plate collection, um I would be hard pressed not to smile which is easy when I am sitting here on firm ground. I hope the collection was insured.

  2. Great reporting and I'm glad you're just shaken (ha, ha, get it), but OK.

  3. My heart was hammering pretty hard while it was going on. It DID feel like a long time - and I'm always terified that the house will fall apart and/or there'll be another quake right behind that one that's even bigger.. Ugh. I'm glad when they are over.

  4. I give people who live in high risk areas credit. If we had to worry about the violent weather I'd be really stressed.

  5. I'm a California girl born and raised and quakes never get easy to take. In fact, they scare the crap out of me!

    We were in Orange County this weekend and probably would have felt it but we were at home in Kern County already by the time the quake happened. We didn't feel a thing.

    Glad you're safe and sound.

  6. Hi all, Thanks for your support and comments. I'm such a wimp when it comes to earthquakes. They just freak me out. Of course today it's barely a blip on the news and only made page 3 of the LA Times. The good part is that it was "the" earthquake, not a warm-up to a big one... this time. xo

  7. I think it is a riot that you were able to give us all a blow by blow surpassing what was available on the news! Seeing that I live in the Midwest, I can't even fathom the ride you took last night!

    I have to admit, I laughed aloud about the Winnie the Pooh plate...I'm sure that woman was upset, but dear lord it is Winnie the Pooh!

    I hope you were able to get some rest!

  8. That must be terrifying. I think natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, etc. are the scariest because we are completely at their mercy. Glad you are OK.

  9. Sarah, I'll admit it too... I found myself laughing in the middle of the night about the Pooh plates.... Seeings how I was WIDE AWAKE and all :-)

  10. I was born in L.A. and I remember running out of the house when I was little. I remember seeing my mom behind me, chasing me as I was OUT.THE.DOOR.... I guess we were supposed to get under the beds, or something but, hey, they were bunk beds and my feet told my body to RUN!! They were so scary. I'm glad everything at your house is okay and you didn't lose any Pooh collectibles!


  11. We didn't feel a thing up here in the high desert.
    I was born and raised in LA and I'm still terrified of earthquakes. Despite all of our training in school as kids to get under the desk my first reaction is still to haul ass out the front door.

  12. Is life less trembling now? How are things for you??

  13. Hi Holly, You are so sweet to check back in with me. As I was reading your comment we actually had ANOTHER ONE!! It's an after shock from the other night and registered a jolting 4.1. Oy! I'm turning gray as I type :-)

  14. Okay, I know I am a few weeks late. But, when I feel them. I run to the computer and type in my search bar, "SO CAL EARTHQUAKES" It brings up the coolest site ever. It tells you up to the minute info. About where, when, how big, how deep. Who felt it. What damage.... It is a must have for people like me and you! Cause I want info RIGHT THAT SECOND!

  15. Yikes, glad you're ok.


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