Thursday, August 09, 2007

I Feel the Earth Move

Of all the California things I expected to experience during my time home, an earthquake was not one of them. Yet at 1am this morning, a 4.6 earthquake struck and woke everyone up in our home, including my uncle visiting from quakeless Chicago.

A 4.6 earthquake is considered moderate. It did close down the bridge near my home because they found cracks, but it was later reopened once they found out there was not structural damage. Usually with earthquakes this size, some things fall off shelves like pictures that fell onto me. Fortunately, they're just in paper frames, and the framed magazine and trophies that I have on shelves near my bed fell on both sides of me.

As stuff was falling on me and I was searching for my glasses this morning, I remembered being woken up 13 years ago during the Northridge Earthquake. We had felt small tremors before, but this one didn't stop after a few seconds. Although the 6.7 earthquake was also considered moderate, "seventy-two people died as a result of the earthquake and over 11,000 were injured. In addition, the earthquake caused an estimated $12.5 billion in damage, making it one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history."

Everytime there are small tremors and moderate earthquakes, I think every Californian lies in bed wondering if this is just a precursor to 'the big one.' The one they have been predicting forever. It makes me wonder about applying to these law firms on the 40th stories of buildings in LA. But that thought usually fleets quickly when I think about how I would have to swim through the humidity or trudge through the snow wearing a suit in any other part of the country.

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