6.9, 7.2, what are a few points on the Richter Scale between friends?

It’s been quiet in California…too quiet.  I’ve lived in LA since 1996 and have experienced a couple of 4 point something earthquakes, but nothing like the Northridge quake, or like yesterday’s quake in Baja California.  I live in Encino, which is on the NorthWest side of LA — so further from the the Mexico border than some of my friends and relatives in Brentwood, Long Beach, Irvine.  But I felt it.  I sure did.  I was sitting in my dining room, felt the room give a bit of a roll (all the dogs were barking like crazy) and watched my chandelier and stained glass window swing crazily from side to side for about half a minute.  Of course, I got my daughter and she and I hung out near our very sturdy dining room table, and I got online to see the shake map, which showed a 6.9 quake in Mexico. 

I thought it seemed kinda bigger than that — especially since I was literally hundreds of miles away and felt quite a movement, so I was bizarrely relieved to see the quake upgraded to a 7.2 a few hours later.  Of course, every newscaster on every channel kept referring to the fact that the last 15 years have been so quiet here. 

We all know there is a big quake coming to LA or vicinity.  And we just sit here and wait, because this is where we Californians have chosen to live.  The little rolling reminders get me refilling my food and water stocks, making sure my gas tank is full, and have me bring my daughter into my bed for the night to keep her close.  With 20 something aftershocks since yesterday, every now and then I get a small wave of dizziness, and it really does freak me out a bit to know that I’ve chosen to live on a fault line. 

The magnitude is just that…magnitude.  I’m not an earthquake expert, but I seem to recall that every number on the Richter Scale if 10 times the magnification of the number below it.  Am I correct?  (I should, at this point, google Richter Scale and get the facts, but I’m sure one of you will tell me!)  [note: OK.  I couldn’t help myself.  After I posted I did the research on the Richter Scale.] In any event, 7.2 seemed like the right number for where I sat yesterday.  I can’t even imagine what it must have felt like for the folks sitting on top of it.

3 thoughts on “6.9, 7.2, what are a few points on the Richter Scale between friends?

  1. Shake, rattle and roll. I was there for the Northridge quake in 1994, the Whittier quake in 1987 and numerous little guys in between. The Whittier quake only knocked over a vase in my apartment in The Palms — which did damage an antique chest. The Northridge quake really shook us up in Culver City. Dishes broke, pictures flew off the wall and the TV was thrown out of it’s stand. A 27 inch tube TV was pretty heavy. We had no power until the next morning, even though we could see places with power right across La Ballona Creek. The building I worked in at Sony Pictures was damaged and the lobby area was closed down until I left the copy of the end of 1995.

    Oh, the memories. I guess it’s strange to miss earthquakes, but I kind of due. Just part of the experience of a Californian. The weather, the ocean, the year round green, the entertainment industry, Trader Joe’s, flowering jacaranda — and earthquakes.

    1. Lisa — Such power. Just awesomely scary. Don’t know how I’d react after a big one…whether I’d stay or leave California. I do know that I’d miss TJ’s, the lifestyle, the opportunity AND the weather…but I’m shaking in my boots in anticipation of the next big one. That I can definitely live without!!

  2. Living over in Scottsdale, AZ myself and lots of other folks felt it and everyone’s pools had whitecaps. I can’t even imagine how it felt in the epicenter

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