Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Earthquake Shakes California

When I was growing up in the Salinas Valley of California, I can remember several earthquakes rattling me awake from a sound sleep. You can hear them coming! It's a weird sound, like a freight train coming through your bedroom.

Today, there was a pretty strong quake, registering in at 6.0, centered near in Parkfield, California. This town is known as California's Earthquake Capital.

For several years, I lived in Hollister, California, where I thought, by the number of quakes we experienced daily, we were the earthquake capital. Needless to say, both towns are on the infamous San Andreas Fault.
In October, 1989, I was driving about 40 to 45 miles per hour, on a highway overpass over CA Hwy 101, when I felt as though I had four flat tires! It was just after 5pm. I remember looking at the car to the right of me, going as fast as I was, and she looking back at me. Neither of us understood what was going on at that particular moment. It wasn't until I looked about a mile ahead of us and noticed the traffic lights were out. As I got closer to the intersection, I noticed store front windows wavering with the aftershocks.

This quake measured somewhere around 7.2 on the Richter scale and was centered near Watsonville, California, just 20 miles from my home. Our power was out for three days. The aftershocks just kept on coming.
With all the hurricane activity Florida has been experiencing in recent weeks, I would take an earthquake over a hurricane, anytime. The destruction of these hurricanes has been horrifying. I'm not so sure the home I'm in now would withstand a strong earthquake, I'm sure a hurricane would be devastating. Idaho just does not have the building codes California has.

Note to self: Doorways!

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