Saturday, September 24, 2005

"Come on over baby, whole lot of shakin' going on"

Wow, I think that I'm just going crazy with all these posts. 2 yesterday, so make sure you keep caught up :).

But I had to post again this a.m. I'd been thinking last night that I should really do a post about earthquakes at some point. Of course the most logical being after there had been one of note here, and the earth was kindly cooperative. This morning at 4:25 I was jolted out of my sleep. I had guestimated it at about 5.0, but I was way off. US Geological Survey is putting the quake at 3.2 preliminarily...I think that's a bit conservative, obviously, but it was close to me and felt sharper because of it. It was on the Hayward fault just a mile or 2 north of me.

Quakes are kind of funny things. Most of the ones that I've felt have happened when I'm sleeping, but there was a pretty interesting event that happened while I was in a therapy session. They can feel like a jolt or a sideways movement. This one felt like a truck hitting the side of the building. Or it can feel almost like a rolling movement. These last type you can hear coming, and it can sound like a truck is approaching or someone is running through the building. There is always noise, which was a shock when I experienced my first one. I hadn't realized there would be noise.

I have friends who lived through the Northridge earthquake (in Los Angeles) and the Loma Prieta (here in the Bay Area...it's the one that stopped the World Series game in 1989, that's the way that I remember it). Both of these were pretty spectacular in terms of property damage and loss of life. A freeway and a span of the Bay Bridge collapsed during the Loma Prieta. And there are others...P'tit Loup and WritinginAK can both tell stories about their experiences, if they want. B credits the Northridge with meeting her husband.

Since the hurricane, there has been a lot more on the television about preparedness. I think that I may actually be better prepared than most. I have a little food and some water stored away. But I know that this is not enough. This is on my list to review and revise. Because we are told that a big one is coming. A magnitude 6 or greater quake is predicted to hit one of the local faults sometime in the next 30 years.

So, why, people wonder, do I live here? Like people living on a flood plain, you know that you are at risk, so why don't you move? And here it is...I live daily in a great sense of denial about an impending quake. You just don't think about it. You can't and still function. It's not a great answer, but it is the truth. I know that I am choosing the risk of this disaster to live in a place that is beautiful, has great weather, has amazing resources and culture, is politically friendly to someone like me, and did I mention the weather?

But let's be realistic about these choices we make, living our lives daily: more people die in car accidents every year than have died in quakes in this country. But don't we still get into our own or someone else's car almost everyday?

And I'm always a little in awe of anyone living in Mexico City in the shadow of an active volcano!

I think that this post is reaching Hyde-esque proportions, so I think I will stop now. I'm off to the big concert today, and you can be sure that SBC Park will be shaking tonight!

9 comments:

spinsterwitch said...

Oh, and I dreamt about Lord Bargain and Ka last night. I don't remember what the dream was about...you can thank the earthquake for me remembering and not remembering - I wouldn't have woken from REM sleep without it, and the ensuing adrenaline wiped out most of my impressions of it pretty effectively.

Charby said...

We had an earthquake near us when I was in uni, It scared the life outta my housemate, thinking that the garage at the end of the road had blown up.
It was one like you said, a noisy one, it reminded me of when the hgv's drive up and down our road.
It shook my bed and wardrobe, I never realised we could have earthquakes here.
Its very exciting now to tell people how I survived the Dudley Quake!

Hyde said...

First of all, what's wrong with Hyde-esque proportions? ;)

About the Earthquake thing, I think that all of life is about risk. I have major abanonment issues and whenever I start to fall in love, I think that I shouldn't because everything ends at some point, and then there will be heartbreak and sadness. But I can't live my life thinking about the endings, even if the risk is always there. Your post reminded me of that-- that you chose to risk loss because of the beautiful things your home gives you and it's better not to think about it...

I don't know if that made sense to anyone except for me...

-h

P'tit-Loup said...

Ha yes, Earthquakes! After 25 years in California, I have felt several on a small level, the Loma Prieta, although centered 3 hours away was felt in my town. The only one that really made an impression on me was the San Simeon one about two years ago. The house rocked so much that we had dishes and CDs all over the floor. The walls were going back and forth and I thought my house would fall on me. My aquarium fell over and I spent the rest of the day in a daze walking around and too numb to pick up anything for a good hour. I still get edgy when a large truck goes down the street and think it's and earthquake. That was a 6.4 about 30 miles from my home! You gotta love the power of nature!

red one said...

I've never experienced an earthquake - I wouldn't have expected the noise either, though it makes sense now you mention it...

B credits the Northridge with meeting her husband

the earth moved for them, eh? At least there was an up-side. ;-)

red

Aravis said...

I've been through two small earthquakes here in CT, both of which occurred at night. The second one I barely woke up enough to notice. The first however jarred me awake with the sensation of my bed hitting the floor. No idea if that is what actually happened, but that's what it felt like as I was startled awake. This one was also brief. I didn't hear a noise either time, but I may well have slept through it, being a sound sleeper usually. So the fact that they make a sound was an interesting factoid. Supposedly there's some large fault running through this area which may potentially wipe out New York at some point. I don't see any of us moving either, so I guess we live in a similar sort of denial. Of course, earthquakes here are so rare it's easy to do so.

the urban fox said...

I do often think how weird it would be to live in California, knowing you're almost certainly on course for havoc. But it's the same as any risk, isn't it? Either you feel a real sense of danger or you don't. It's all in the perception. And, as you say, life is full of risks large and small.

Carol Gee said...

It must be a real challenge to pick up your session after such an interruption. And is there a way to "reframe" after such an event. You are brave.
I understand completely about your choice of locale. Point Lobos is one of the most spectacular places on this earth. I still have those images clearly in my mind.

writinginAK said...

Ah, earthquakes ... I always seem to feel them when they wake me out of sleep (and I hate that!) (...though I can feel them pretty dang well on the second floor of our house when I'm at the computer!) My first big scary quake was the Joshua Tree quake when I spent a summer in Orange County in '92; my even scarier quake was in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala in '98, at the end of my first week there when my host family had gone to Guatemala City and left me home alone and I had no way to get in touch with anyone and had pretty marginal Spanish... And, of course, both of those happened in the middle of the night.
I feel earthquakes far more often now that I'm in Alaska than I ever did in the Bay Area ... I hadn't realized before moving here how earthquake-prone Alaska is (but when you look at lists of recent quakes, it becomes clear pretty quickly!)