Posts Tagged ‘Northridge Earthquake’

Earthquake Shakes Idyllwild

July 11, 2010

It's better to be outside than inside when an earthquake strikes

At 4:55 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7, an earthquake shook Idyllwild, CA. It registered a 5.4 on the Richter scale, and the epicenter was in Borrego Springs, about 85 miles away, according to news reports.

At the time, I happen to be sitting on the ground outside in my neighbor’s yard. I was taking a break from raking. The earthquake felt like a big, base drum knocking underneath me. Then the vibrations got louder and more intense.

At one point, I looked over at my cat, who was sitting about five feet from me. She didn’t move, nor look alarmed. I thought, “She’s a total California cat. Earthquakes don’t even faze her.”

Yet, afterwards, she threw up.

My neighbor, Gene, who lives in Whittier, ran over pretty excited.

“Did you feel the earthquake?” he said. “It shook everything on the shelves in my house.”

Come to think of it, I did hear dishes rattling in the house next to me. It sounded so faint and delicate, like porcelain wind chimes.

“It must’ve been a number five on the Richter Scale,” Gene said. “I bet they felt it down below too. But you can’t get on any more solid ground than granite!”

Just then, a jogger passed by, and Gene asked if he felt the earthquake.

“Yep, I thought I felt something,” he said, and kept on.

People driving in cars rarely feel earthquakes. My neighbor, Louise, is one of them.

“No, I didn’t feel anything,” she said. “And I was driving past Anza at the time.”

Guess it’s the weight of the car and the forward motion that absorbs the earth shaking for 10 seconds. But Gene said that when the Northridge Earthquake hit, he was driving on a freeway, and his car slid sideways.

“You were pretty safe out here with all these tall trees,” Gene added. “It’s better than being inside your house with stuff falling all around you. Just don’t forget to look up.”

My friend, Charles, 80, was inside his house in Fern Valley at the time.

“That was really something,” he said. “It lasted five, six, maybe 10 seconds.”

He admitted to being scared.

For details on the earthquake in Idyllwild and anywhere around the world, visit the Green Café web site at Jeffrey Taylor, a computer programmer, has tapped into free USGS information on sismetic data. Results are available almost immediately.