Home » Other » Community Hangout » Southern California rocked by 5.8 quake
Southern California rocked by 5.8 quake [message #337043] Tue, 29 July 2008 13:50 Go to next message
BlackSwan
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It was closer to Barbara than to me.
Re: Southern California rocked by 5.8 quake [message #337049 is a reply to message #337043] Tue, 29 July 2008 14:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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Gosh! I'm glad that you are doing well (at least, it *seems* so) and surely hope Barbara is fine too!
Re: Southern California rocked by 5.8 quake [message #337053 is a reply to message #337049] Tue, 29 July 2008 14:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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Registered: November 2002
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Yes, I'm fine too. I was sitting at my desk, looking through yesterday's mail, browsing the internet, watching a re-run of Star Trek that I recorded Saturday night, and petting one of my cats that was sitting in my lap when it hit. It hit hard enough that it was obvious that it was an earthquake, not just a large truck or somebody driving by with the base of their stereo on loud or something at a construction site. I sat for a moment to see if it stopped abruptly. When it kept going, I got up, carrying the cat that was in my lap with me, and stood in the nearest sturdy doorway between the hallway and the bathroom until it was over. After it was over, I checked to see that the rest of the cats were O.K. Surprisingly none of my cats reacted to it at all. I then checked the interior of the house and the garage and did not see any damage. I glanced out front and out back and everything also looked normal. At that point I decided it didn't warrant going outside in the heat to check the exterior thoroughly until this evening. I also figured there are likely to be aftershocks, so I might as well wait until they are over. I turned on the television and say that channels 4.1 and 7.1 were talking about it. I have been watch 7.1 ever since. As usual, I then went to the USGS website and filled out their "did you feel it?" form that helps them gather statistics from various areas. I was the first from my zip code, 92509, to respond at that time. I would call it category IV by their standards, shaking, but no damage. When these things happen, if you do not have an emergency, it is best to stay off off the telephones and streets in order to stay out of the way of those that do have emergencies. So, I will postpone the errands that I planned for today until tomorrow. Let us hope that this was not a foreshock. We are long overdue for the big one and this was not it. I still remember the Sylmar earthquake of 1971. This one was not nearly as strong as that one. The big one is still yet to come. They say that the San Andreas Fault is overdue.




Re: Southern California rocked by 5.8 quake [message #337116 is a reply to message #337053] Wed, 30 July 2008 00:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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Barbara
Surprisingly none of my cats reacted to it at all

Do cats feel such things (as earthquakes)? I think I read/heard/have been under impression of some movie I saw/(dreamed?) that they do. As you live with cats for long time, how do you feel about this statement? Is there something "magical" in them, their behaviour? Is it possible that they could forsee such events? Did they ever do that?

Quote:
The big one is still yet to come. They say that the San Andreas Fault is overdue.

That's bad news. Moreover, you (we) have no influence on it (unless we talk about bad guys making underground nuclear explosions, as seen in movies (again)). How could you stop tectonic plate motion?

I don't know much about earthquakes; there've been some minor 'quakes here ~20 years ago which lasted for a week or two. No damage, as far as I can recall. I have briefly checked Internet sources, and it is said that San Andreas fault is "horizontal" plates movement which results in earthquakes, but no volcanoes. So, I'd say that - if you have to live with it - it is a better option. Imagine earthquake AND eruption ... However, it must be different from your point of view.

I hope that this "big one" is tens of thousands years away.
Re: Southern California rocked by 5.8 quake [message #337160 is a reply to message #337116] Wed, 30 July 2008 01:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
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Littlefoot wrote on Tue, 29 July 2008 22:18

Do cats feel such things (as earthquakes)? I think I read/heard/have been under impression of some movie I saw/(dreamed?) that they do. As you live with cats for long time, how do you feel about this statement? Is there something "magical" in them, their behaviour? Is it possible that they could forsee such events? Did they ever do that?



Cats and other animals have much better senses than humans. They can hear and smell things that we can't. This is why dogs are used for searching for people buried in rubble. The dogs can hear and smell them, while we can't. Such things are commonly accepted facts. Usually cats can hear and feel and sense things like earthquakes before the waves get close enough for people to hear them. Ordinarily cats would react to such things. However, with cats that are accustomed to living in noisy surroundings and are old enough that they have lived through other earthquakes, they may have heard the rumblings before I did and just did not react to it, just as they have gotten used to the garbage truck coming every Tuesday and no longer run and hide when it approaches.

Littlefoot wrote on Tue, 29 July 2008 22:18

I hope that this "big one" is tens of thousands years away.


The experts say that it is due sometime within the next decade.

I have lived in Southern California all of my life, so I am used to earthquakes. I would rather cope with earthquakes than tornadoes. I have heard other people who live in areas with tornadoes say the opposite. I think we are all comfortable with dealing with what we are familiar with. Also, local houses are built to withstand local problems. I would not want to be in my house during a tornado, but it holds together just find during an earthquake.

Re: Southern California rocked by 5.8 quake [message #337171 is a reply to message #337160] Wed, 30 July 2008 01:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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BB
I would not want to be in my house during a tornado, but it holds together just find during an earthquake.

Just being curious ... I've seen people live in wooden houses. When tornado hits the area, they are usually demolished "to the ground". I always wondered why don't they build them of a more "solid" material (like concrete and bricks)? And - what material is used in your house (actually, for most of the people in your area)? Saying that it can withstand an earthquake, what is it? Steel, which provides kind of elasticity, or ...? Really, no idea.
Re: Southern California rocked by 5.8 quake [message #337215 is a reply to message #337171] Wed, 30 July 2008 03:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rleishman
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Registered: October 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Come to sunny Oz!! No earthquakes (single tectonic plate), no tornados, and no cyclones (aka hurricanes) south of the tropics.

Yes, we do have the top 10 most venomous snakes in the world, sharks, crocs, scorpians, and spiders; but we're really safe when it comes to inorganic hazards.
Re: Southern California rocked by 5.8 quake [message #337234 is a reply to message #337215] Wed, 30 July 2008 04:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Frank
Messages: 7877
Registered: March 2000
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Nothing hazardous in The Netherlands.
Just no sun either.

Sounds like the ideal place to live is North Yorkshire, home of the Sheep Eating Midge. After all, it's supposedly been sunny there for years Wink
unless you're a sheep of course.
Re: Southern California rocked by 5.8 quake [message #337244 is a reply to message #337234] Wed, 30 July 2008 05:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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./fa/4706/0/
Re: Southern California rocked by 5.8 quake [message #337339 is a reply to message #337171] Wed, 30 July 2008 10:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
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Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
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Littlefoot wrote on Tue, 29 July 2008 23:42

Just being curious ... I've seen people live in wooden houses. When tornado hits the area, they are usually demolished "to the ground". I always wondered why don't they build them of a more "solid" material (like concrete and bricks)? And - what material is used in your house (actually, for most of the people in your area)? Saying that it can withstand an earthquake, what is it? Steel, which provides kind of elasticity, or ...? Really, no idea.


Most houses, like mine are wood. Some, like mine, have stucco on the outside of the wood. Others have wood siding or some synthetic material. During earthquakes they rumble and make a lot of noise, but typically don't break. Most modern houses, like mine, are built on a concrete slab foundation. Older houses, like my mother's and the one that I used to rent that was built in 1905, are on a raised foundation and are more prone to sliding off of the foundation. Most industrial buildings are made of steel and sway back and forth during earthquakes, especially on the upper floors, but nothing breaks. I think most houses are not made with steel because it is more expensive, but it is certainly stronger, flexible, and doesn't get termites or mold, although it can rust. The worst thing that you can have in Southern California is brick, because it doesn't bend. During earthquakes bricks crack and fall and they're heavy. The only places that you see bricks are as exterior facing for decoration and chimneys and those are the most likely to crumble during earthquakes. The chimney over my fireplace is brick, but it hasn't cracked yet.

My property is surrounded by a block retaining wall, but it is not solid bricks. They are hollow, filled with dirt, with steel rods running through them at intervals. The blocks only extend about a foot above the ground, with about five feet of iron fencing with vertical parallel bars above that, bolted to the blocks. Six feet is the maximum height legally allowed. It all held up fine during the earthquake. I walked the perimeter yesterday evening and didn't find any cracks. The block retaining wall prevents dogs from digging under. Cats and small dogs can fit between the bars. Although large dogs cannot fit between the bars, some can jump over, especially if there is something nearby. My neighbor's yard is higher that mine. When they park their pickup truck close to my fence, it is easy for a dog to jump into the bed of their pickup truck, then jump over the fence into my yard. But once in my yard, it is on the low side, and can't get out. I found a German Shepherd in my yard that lives up the street and I figure that's how it got in. It is a nice dog and it was after the fourth of July and I figure it just got scared of the fireworks and ran. I opened the gate and it ran back towards home.

In other parts of the country, that are prone to tornadoes, most houses have a basement that people can go to, but basements in houses in California are extremely uncommon. If we do have a rare tornado, we have no place to go.

Yesterday I saw on the news that most places activated their emergency centers and implemented their emergency plans. Most places temporarily evacuate the people, then check for damage, make repairs if necessary, then resume normal operations. Apparently there was some minor damage to an airport runway, an overpass, a few ceilings, things fallen off of shelves, and so forth. They stopped the commuter trains while they inspected the tracks. All of these things cause delays which cause other delays and so on. I figure by today, transportation should be back to normal and everything should have been mopped off the floors in the stores, so I will plan to do the errands today that I postponed yesterday.

They say that earthquakes come in clusters, so we might expect a few more. Hopefully, having more minor quakes relieves some of the stress on the faults and prevents having one bigger one. They say that there is a five percent chance that any quake is a foreshock to a larger one. 24 hours after the quake, that percentage diminishes to one percent.

Yesterday evening after the weather cooled and most of us came out to take a better look and water our yards and so forth, everybody was asking everybody else if they felt it, where they were, and what they did. Everybody I talked to felt it. Most were inside. One was outside cleaning a swimming pool. I imagine everyone will still be talking about it when I go out today.

Well, back to normal, until the next one ...

Re: Southern California rocked by 5.8 quake [message #337344 is a reply to message #337043] Wed, 30 July 2008 10:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
BlackSwan
Messages: 22909
Registered: January 2009
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I was born & raised about 50 miles west of Chicago, IL.
I saw a couple of tornados while living there.
I have been in San Diego (SD) county since 1967 & have felt all the major SoCal quakes since the Sylmar quake.
A few years ago I took a walking tour of downtown San Diego led by a geology professor from San Diego State University.
There are ACTIVE faults running through downtown SD.
Across the street from the Convention Center is a (new?) tourist hotel which is comprised of twin towers & joined by a single story lobby area.
The reason for this design is that a known fault runs directly beneath the lobby & between the two towers. Each tower is built on one side of the fault line.
The SD Police Department (SDPD) has a station near downtown SD.
The actual building is situated in Northeast corner of the lot,
because a known fault crosses the Southwest portion of the lot
& that is where the parking lot is from the police cars.

For another perspective say that Southern California is 100 miles by 100 miles or about 10,000 square miles.
A really bad quake might devastate 1 square mile & do moderate damage to the miles adjacent to the center.
About 9 square miles would be impacted.
This is less than 1/1000 of the whole area.
So you put you money down, & take your chances.
I perfer to live here & avoid the NASTY winters in the Mid-West where I grew up.
Re: Southern California rocked by 5.8 quake [message #337358 is a reply to message #337344] Wed, 30 July 2008 11:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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What a great community hangout we have here! I enjoy reading your tales, and I feel each of them is even more interesting than the previous one! Thank you all who contribute, especially Barbara; your daily reports are simply extraordinary!

I don't know if you ever heard of a computer game named GTA San Andreas, but - there were houses which looked exactly like the ones you have described, Barbara.

When I asked about brick houses, I thought that these might be anti-tornado facilities because ... well, wind couldn't break them down as easily as wooden ones. Could it? Anacedent, you have lived there, what do you think?
Re: Southern California rocked by 5.8 quake [message #337365 is a reply to message #337043] Wed, 30 July 2008 12:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
BlackSwan
Messages: 22909
Registered: January 2009
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Brick houses are much, much more prevalent in the South & East US,
because of the soil composition in the South & East is suitable to making bricks.

In the Corn Belt (3 I's; Indiana, Illinois, & Iowa) brick houses are not common due to relatively high shipping cost of bricks.
I doubt a brick house would be able to withstand F3-F5 tornado.
Folks who live in areas where tornados occur know to got to the SouthWest corner of the basement during an alert.
The reason being that the vast, vast majority of tornados come from the south and/or the west. Therefore the debris will blown away from the SW corner. That is the best that can be done.
Re: Southern California rocked by 5.8 quake [message #337377 is a reply to message #337365] Wed, 30 July 2008 12:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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I see; the Fujita scale says that "my" brick houses wouldn't be very helpful either. So, a good basement with several emergency exits sounds like the only valid solution. (By the way, I could never guess that shipping cost might make the difference.)
Re: Southern California rocked by 5.8 quake [message #337567 is a reply to message #337358] Thu, 31 July 2008 04:54 Go to previous message
scorpio_biker
Messages: 154
Registered: November 2005
Location: Kent, England
Senior Member
Littlefoot wrote on Wed, 30 July 2008 17:58
What a great community hangout we have here! I enjoy reading your tales, and I feel each of them is even more interesting than the previous one! Thank you all who contribute, especially Barbara; your daily reports are simply extraordinary!



I have to agree with Littlefoot here, I'm always fasinated by the tales from people in other countries and how things are there. This thread caught my eye because I live in Kent in the south east of England, and last April we had an earthquake here. It was a 4.3 magnitude and mainly affected Folkestone on the coast. I actually work in Folkestone but as it was a Saturday I was at home in a village called Bekesbourne (about 18 miles from Folkestone). When the quake struck I was in bed and heard what sounded like really loud bangs, I thought someone was trying to bash my front door down, very confusing.

It's interesting to read about the house construction. In Folkestone most of the damage came from falling bricks from chimneys, walls and the like, and there was a fair amount of structural damage. Of course none of our houses are build with earthquakes in mind!!! Laughing
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