Earthquake!

As you may or may not know, faithful readers, I am currently in a training program and find myself for entire weekends in an office building, in the back of the room assisting around various courses that take place there.

This weekend was an unscheduled training, as one person on the team’s mom had a heart attack, and I was asked to step in so he could be with his mother while she had surgeries on her heart. She is fine now, and only had to have triple bypass surgery, an improvement over what was expected and recuperating nicely.

So I was in an office building near the LAX airport here in Los Angeles when that 7.2 earthquake hit near Mexicali in Baja California, Mexico. An office building with all the latest earthquake required components in a steel constructed building. Funnily enough, we were right at a very important part of the course, people were feeling a little drowzy and inattentive, myself included, but a key principle had just been stated, when it happened. It woke everyone up.

But as earthquakes go, it was very gentle and rolling, like being in a rocking chair, with someone else rocking it. We were only on the second floor of this building, but you could tell the building was designed to roll and sway. I actually got a little dizzy when it started; I know I was leaning a bit forward, but I checked in with other people afterwards, and heard they felt dizzy too at the start. Not sure if it was the design of the building or the type of earthquake that caused that. The other odd thing was I couldn’t really tell when it stopped.

The blinds were down in the room we were in, and the plastic poles that adjust the blind openings kept swaying and hitting the blinds, the only thing that was happening at one point, that gave an indication that it was still going on.

I mentioned to someone else that I couldn’t tell when it ended, or really, when the building stopped swaying (which I’m sure was after the earthquake’s actual end) and he mentioned that he felt at least one aftershock later when he was in the restroom, but hadn’t felt when it was starting because he had been walking at the time. I figure I didn’t feel the aftershocks because I was probably walking at those times.

As usual, my reaction to an earthquake is always pretty much the same:

First Thought: What’s Happening?

Second Thought: Is this an Earthquake?

Third Thought: Oh, it’s an Earthquake.

Fourth Thought: Nothing’s falling down or breaking, I think I’ll just stay put.

Fifth Thought: Why do these things never really phase me?

And so forth.

The first earthquake I was ever in was in Portland, Oregon, and it woke me up out of sound sleep. My reactions were the same then too!

This was the first time I had ever been with a large group of people when it happened. I had been in two earthquakes while at work, but one was on a Sunday and only the film editor had been there too, while the second one, everyone was mostly at lunch. Maybe there was a third one too, but since that building shook every time a large truck drove up the street, we were so used to it, sometimes we weren’t even sure one had happened.

The initial reports I was sent to go get stated 6.9 on the Richter scale, and it was upgraded to 7.2 that I heard this morning, with two known aftershocks whose epicenter moved closer to El Centro, but very little damage, and two people reported injured as a result. Lots of cracks reported as building damage, and obviously the structures will need to be determined if they are still structurely sound, but thank goodness the epicenter was deep and in a relatively unpopulated area. Thank goodness such a high rating on the infamous Richter Scale led to such minimal damage. Praise be to Mother Nature, or God, or Goddess, or whatever Universal Deity you wish to praise.

And a Happy Easter Wake Up Call to All. It’s good to be alive.

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2 Responses to “Earthquake!”

  1. christopher Says:

    saw this and thought of you:

    http://xkcd.com/723/

  2. Carol Elaine Says:

    I should see if I can photos of El Centro and Seeley after the earthquake and aftershock. I’m curious because I actually went to school in Seeley when I lived on the El Centro Naval Base. I don’t remember any earthquakes in the area when I lived there!

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