Earthquake: 5.4

I’ve just been through my first earthquake experience. I was on the phone and the building started swaying. It was perfectly quiet and nearly not noticeable. But as soon as you notice it – probably one or two seconds – it consumes your attention. The building continued rolling and swaying (apparently many of the anti-earthquake LA buildings are on big rollers) for about 30 seconds and then it settled.

I thought it was relatively small but according to this official site, earthquake ci14383980 was a 5.4 Richter quake (originally pegged at 5.8) with the epicenter about a half-hour’s drive inland (at the edge of what Los Angelenos called, for some peculiar reason, the “Inland Empire”). People’s reactions were interesting. Some were excited, some a little nervous. It was very clear however who has experienced some of the big ones though.

I only got a taster for what a big earthquake might feel like, but I can imagine that if the frequency of the shaking had increased – and not necessarily by much – it would very rapidly have gone from an interesting Tuesday event to distinctly worrying.

  1. My colleague Joe Alagna lives about two miles from the epicentre of this morning’s earthquake, in Chino Hills. It shook picture frames off the walls and gave his house a good shake, but thankfully he and his family are unharmed.

    There’s a pretty good real-time map of earthquakes in southern California here, you can see the pre- and aftershocks centred around the same location. There have been some above-average aftershocks (3.6 and 3.8), but of course the magnitude scale is logarithmic, so a 3.0 magnitude quake is 100 times weaker than a 5.0 magnitude quake.

    PS: I don’t get the “Inland Empire” thing either.

  2. Of course you already know about the site 🙂 Should have read your post a bit more carefully…

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