Just As I Thought

Did the earth move for you, two?

I’m not sure, but I think I just experienced an earthquake — it could be coincidence and something akin to wishful thinking, but something happened.
About 15 minutes ago, I was laying here in bed with the dog when there was a kind of bang — like something fell off a shelf, and both I and the dog snapped our heads around to look. It came from the east side of the house, over in the bathroom area, but it seemed like the sound zipped across the room and over to the west wall, and I distinctly felt some kind of movement through the room, very fast. If I wasn’t in earthquake country, I’d have thought that some kind of ghost just flew through the room.
I’d say it lasted less than 2 seconds, as if someone just banged their fist down. But I puzzled over it for a few minutes, wondering what the hell it was, wondering if it was a neighbor but then realizing that there’s no house attached on that side. Then, firing up the Powerbook just now, I discovered that a 2.9 earthquake had occured at 11:09, just when I encountered the weird sound. It was centered about 10 miles away.
If it was the earthquake I felt, it was very strange. And certainly unlike the earthquake I felt back home, which swayed my house for a few seconds.

Update: Yup, that’s what it was — confirmed by at least 85 other people who have contributed their experience to the USGS “Did You Feel It?” webpage. If you’re curious, I’m in ZIP code 95136.

Update 2 (aka “beating a dead horse”): I think the next thing that someone should do with Google Maps is to integrate them with the USGS recent earthquakes system. The USGS maps just give no detail that a human being can relate to, and topographic maps are not so useful when you want to figure out where the earthquake happened in relation to your house.
Anyway, using the coordinates given for tonight’s little quake, I pulled up this map. The star is my house, the red marker is the epicenter of the quake. It must have been up on Mount Hamilton near the observatory, about 9 miles away.


1 comment

  • My childhood in Northern Calif (Eureka) 30 years in Alaska with several on Adak (a volcano) and now Seattle, I have lived my life on the ring of fire.

    The sad disturbing fact is if it isn’t 4.0 or greater I don’t even look up from what I’m doing, and can call them fairly well. During a dinner party we had a quake and guests jumped up. I looked at the 6 of them trying to stand in doorways and said 3.2 not worth getting up. (it was a 3.4)

    But quakes here are related to volcanic activity and are often preceeded by very low rumbling. IF your paying attention the rumbling gives you 30-40 seconds of advance notice.

    Your quake, a snap rather than a rumble was a shift in the fault line, (you moved north just a bit) Those types of quakes are scarier. They come without notice and can do major damage in the first 15 seconds. Giving you little or no time to escape.

    Great quakes like the 64 Alaskan 8.6 or 9.2 depending on your source are a combo of the two. Volcanic activity triggers a rumbling swaying quake which triggers a fault line snap. Anchorage swayed for minutes and THEN 1/2 of 4th ave dropped 40 feet. (Anchorage also had a liquifaction issue which made things worse)

    Do you have a map of fault lines in relationship to your house?
    It might be worth investagating, when the time comes to buy.

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