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Cali Living by CBHine -- Shaken AND Stirred

Posted Wednesday, July 30, 2008, at 3:39 PM

I have just experienced my first earthquake in Southern California. Honestly, it was considered moderate for this area, but in my book it was much worse than that.

I was actually at home with my two children and my son's friend Chelsea. At first I thought the garbage trucks who were picking up for the day, had hit the house, then the noise got louder and louder until all at once my training in earthquake awareness kicked in and I begin to scream "EARTHQUAKE". About that time the jolt hit so hard it knocked me down and I fell on my knees and I was only concerned about my children's safety My son and his friend were immediately in door ways. I started screaming for my daughter to get under a desk or something at the sometime I was unable to stand up, so I was crawling on the floor down to her room. It was very very loud and the swaying and the jolting were horrifying, I just cannot describe it any other way. I have never experienced anything like it. We are just a few miles from Pomona and Chino Hills (the epicenter), it seemed like the experience lasted about 15-20 seconds and I can promise you every second was LONG!!!

As far as damage, we had things fall off shelves, the kitchen cabinets opened, drawers opened, things rolled off table tops. The water in the pool looked like waves! But, that is all we have found so far.

My husband called and said that his building is built up on about 5 feet of concrete and 75 feet long and it looked like Jell-O jiggling.

We are setting tight and waiting for more news and reports, staying in as they are asking people to do. Odd the things that run through your mind when something like this happens. Life seems to take on new meaning………

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The "experts" said the same thing when I was in elementary school out there. That was WAY longer than 30 years ago. Just make your emergency plans and relax. Get a couple gallons of bottled water and canned goods and put them out of the way. (watch out for the black widows where you store your "rations")

-- Posted by myheart on Fri, Aug 8, 2008, at 5:21 AM

Its been nearly a week and I think most of us have calmed down and life is going back to normal. I still listen carefully when I hear any loud deep roar, which can be a jet or any number of noises....seem to be more aware of my surroundings with thoughts of where we could take shelter should something unexpected happen. News media is saying now according to the experts, the big one will hit in 30 years instead of 50. Of course they are also predicting the number of deaths it will cause and many more morbid details. Comparing it to katrina.

I guess we will either get use to it or move???

-- Posted by cbhine on Mon, Aug 4, 2008, at 3:13 PM

First time experience in an earthquake can be a bit disconcerting to say the least, but one can get used to them.

When we lived in Alaska, earthquakes were a constant, you could hear them coming before the jolts and rolling started. We lived in a rather narrow valley and in the winter I remember the kids making bets when the rumbling started, on whether it was an earthquake or a snow slide coming down the mountains. Didn't take much to entertain us, we would all run outside to watch the snow slides, as the big ones were spectacular, producing a huge gust of ice particle laden wind bursting across the valley floor.

I worked (week on, week off) on a offshore oil platform in Cook Inlet where tidal currents would run up to seven knots. In winter the inlet would freeze over and the ice sheets impacting the platform legs would shake, rattle and roll the structure like a perpetual quake 24/7. Things could get real interesting when the ice would shelve up onto the beaches, sometimes forming floes dozens of feet thick, then break loose at high tide. When these huge floes struck, the noise was unreal and platform would sway several feet and anything not secured down would go flying, often including people.

-- Posted by Lived There Once on Thu, Jul 31, 2008, at 2:10 PM

Wow! Don't worry, from this point on a possible "quake" will not be too far off my radar! Its now become a reality instead of something I've only heard of. Nothing could have prepared me for it. Someone told me today (a native californian) that you learn to listen and if it doesn't stop quick, then you get up and run for cover. This same person was in the San Diego area when she was a child and a 7.3 hit.....another told me about the Northridge quake which I think was a 6.7....she said it was beyond comprehension even as far out as Claremont.....I'm sure some r saying, hey didn't you know this would happen, you moved to California, QUAKE COUNTRY??????? FIRELAND AND DISNEYLAND!! HA....no its not the happiest place on earth!!

-- Posted by cbhine on Wed, Jul 30, 2008, at 10:44 PM

I remember the first quake my spouse and kids experianced. My mom and I were down stairs chuckling at the running feet in the hall way upstairs. It was a "baby" not the 5.4 you had, but mom and I didn't even budge. Kinda get used to them after so many years. NEVER get comfortable, just used to them.

I was at home in 72, and woke up to see my antique headboard waving at me, YEP, I hit the floor quick.

Glad all are safe and not seriously hurt. Be careful out there!!!!

-- Posted by myheart on Wed, Jul 30, 2008, at 9:52 PM

Re: Myheart,

Kids are good. Shaken and stirred almost as much as me. I was told this morning that while my friend was driving down in Chino Hills and the quake hit, she said it looked like a fire was overtaken the freeway, which in reality it was the dirt from the earth flying up and making it impossible to see.

Another friend was in Pasadena in a elevator on the 5th floor of a building. The quake caused not only the building to sway and buckle but also the elevator. She said everyone was screaming and it was beyond comprehension.

Thank God.....I was blessed and at home with my kids!

-- Posted by cbhine on Wed, Jul 30, 2008, at 4:36 PM

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Cindy Hine
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