Shake it up

I’ve never much feared earthquakes. I’m not one to dive under my desk when the shaking starts. Even after today’s had gone for 30 seconds (somebody in my office timed it at 45), I wasn’t worried about my personal safety. I did worry, however, about where the epicenter might be and what damage it was doing there. But I’ve always felt pretty safe riding these things out.

Loved this quote from Ross Stein, USGS, I overheard on CNN:

“As long as you don’t feel you’re in danger, it’s one of the great wonders of the world to feel sold rock shake like Jell-O.”

There’s been two quakes I’ve been through that felt like a joy ride — the 1983 Coalinga quake, and today’s. Those were two very different quakes for me. In 1983, I was stationed at Vandenberg AFB and was a jail guard with a group of inmates at breakfast. That quake felt like riding swells on the ocean. Today’s quake had no up-and-down motion. It felt like the side-to-side, back-and-forth motion of those crazy conveyor belts in a carnival funhouse.

That’s not to diminish the damage and hardships, death and destruction, quakes sometimes bring, as they did today. But I think I’d find a quake far less terrifying than, say, a tornado.

And I might add, only in California.

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