Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Sitting on the couch, I thought at first a loud wind was blowing by. But why so loud? As I quickly realized that this was no wind, I threw the computer down (gently), jumped off the couch, and ran to the hallway. It seemed safe there. Or was it? The rolling continued, reminding me of a pedestrian bridge that sways when I run on it. It wasn't too bad but it seemed to last a long time. Would it get bigger? What was happening? Then, after the earth stopped moving, I started to shake, my heart rate racing, my voice trembling. It seemed to be over, so I decided to stay indoors. Checking the usgs.gov website, only a micro-quake (<2 on the Richter scale) was showing up near Muir Beach. Then the big red square loaded up by San Jose. Yikes!

For the people who have lived here a long time, this was nothing new. Reading through the comments at sfgate, though, people seem to agree that it was longer than normal, and some were reminded of Loma Prieta in 1989 by the initial strong jolt followed by a rolling motion (albeit much less intense).

By the way, if you ever want to kill some time, read the comments at sfgate. Just don't take them too seriously. Some from tonight:
"my books fell on my head - who do I sue?"
"Well, I am quite sure that this is somehow Gavin Newsom's fault."
"I wonder if it shook the treehuggers out of the oaks in Berkely." [The courts just ruled that the protesters hanging out (literally) in some trees on the Berkeley campus had to come down.]

But there are also some comments on whether a small quake lessens the chance of a larger quake. I think, in general, that is not believed to be true. But what do I know?