Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Shaken and a bit stirred

There was a 5.6 earthquake around 8 pm this evening.

It was centered about 10 or 12 miles from here and shook the house pretty good. Unbelievably nothing fell down or was knocked over, not even some cards on the mantel. But it shook me up pretty good. And the cats. Felix (one of our 4 cats) came running into the room during the quake with his tail frizzed. He's still on edge. As am I to be honest. This was the largest quake I've experienced and of course it had to happen when my husband is away on business! It took a few seconds for it to register what was happening and then decide what to do (nothing). The TV cabinet, bookshelves and china cabinet are bolted to the wall and I quickly assessed that nothing would fall on me so I stayed put and watched the water slosh in the fish tank and braced for anything to fall and break. Fortunately nothing did. It was very surreal though. Everything was moving as one and only the water in the fish tank was moving out of plane to everything else. And there was noise but I can't really describe it. I'm sure some of the noise was the house creaking (it is bolted to the foundation) but what does it sound like when the earth moves? After the shaking stopped I jumped up and checked the other rooms to see if anything had fallen down and then did what any smart, independent woman would do, I called my husband on his cell phone and left a panicked message. Oh well. Let's hope I never have to experience anything larger than a 5.6, ok?

I think I've felt about half a dozen earthquakes during the 14 years total I've lived in California. I was living in L.A. during Loma Prieta and I moved to Colorado just a few months before the Northridge quake so I've been lucky to have missed those. While here I've only felt small ones. They've occurred randomly, as earthquakes do, and generally because they've been small, I've only felt them while lying on the couch or in bed. Those quakes felt like a shudder or a small jolt and were over before you could say "earthquake." This one tonight lasted about 15 seconds.

I got a good laugh from the local news. Fortunately there was no real damage or any injuries (that I've heard about) from this one. The only casualties where some olive jars on the floor of a supermarket. The news report had closeup shots of the fallen fruits, lying amid shards of glass. Funny too was that both the reporter and store clerk called them pickles. Olives. Pickles. Whatever. They're both green. The news team also had a reporter standing by live in San Mateo to interview some restaurant patrons who first thought the quake was a passing Caltrain. I might add that San Mateo is about 35 miles from the epicenter. I guess the news vans couldn't get any closer to the epicenter to film more fallen jars of olives...or olive-looking pickles.


  1. I'm glad you're okay! We saw it on the news this morning and until I began reading blogs this morning, I didn't realize that I "knew" someone there.

    I once made a panic call to my husband when I was out of town on a business trip. It was a Sunday, I supposed to help set up a trade show booth for the first time, and my co-worker never arrived and the trunks were too heavy for me to move. LOL! Like my husband could have done anything. So I TOTALLY understand you're need to call your husband right away.

    Again, glad all is well.

  2. I laughed at the "on the spot" reporters too.. by the time they got there everything was definitely over! But it's good that there were no injuries and no damage.

  3. I'm glad the earthquake wasn't any more serious since you were supposed to go stand in a doorway, right? I've only experienced one tiny tremor and that was while living in Cairo (the actual earthquake was small and centered in Turkey). Felt like my stomach was sliding out - very bizarre. Took a few seconds to register and by the time my hubby and I got to the doorway it was over.