Earthquake In Berkeley, California - January 4, 2018

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Glenn Holland, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. Glenn Holland

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Dec 26, 2014
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    This is a pretty good example of what an earthquake feels and sounds like:



    I was asleep in my apartment in the San Francisco Marina District which is about 15 miles from the epicenter.
     
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  2. BR-549

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    That would make me nervous.
     
  3. nsaspook

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    That's a wake-up call!
     
  4. BR-549

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    I don't live under such conditions........but that didn't look like a reminder....it looked like a knock or a nudge.
     
  5. Glenn Holland

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    Dec 26, 2014
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    I've been through 100s of these plain vanilla quakes and two moderately severe ones (6.6 to 6.9 magnitude), but I'm not personally bothered by them.

    However if you own a home or a condo, they can give you a case of the hives when you think about the cost of the damage. I was at home when the 1989 quake hit San Francisco and all I could think about is how big a check I would be writing to pay for the damage to our building.

    Luckily, all we got was cracks around the door and window frames and I never had to open my check book. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  6. Glenn Holland

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    Dec 26, 2014
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    The sensation is like the whole building was raised and dropped.

    The rattling and cracking sound in a wood frame building is a big part of the weird sensation. I was in one of the train control rooms in the subway when one quake hit. The structure is all steel and concrete and I could feel the floor rolling, but there wasn't much noise.
     
  7. Reloadron

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    Jan 15, 2015
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    Never cared for quakes. Many decades ago living in the San Diego area (Lakeside CA) I was riding my motorcycle home from work on NAS North Island to Lakeside traveling west to east. At one point I felt strong vibration in the bike and though I had lost a front wheel weight. Then as I prepared to stop everything was normal. I get to out apartment complex and all these people are outside around the pool and there is all this water out of the pool. What the heck and my wife runs up to me telling me we just had a quake. The quake was centered in ElCentro and in my travel I pretty much hit the shock waves perpendicular. I had no clue. The evening aftershocks sucked though. :)

    Ron
     
  8. nsaspook

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    I remember the series of quakes from 86-87 while living in San Diego (Spring Valley). Everybody was on edge for the 'Big One'. The coolest quake I saw was in asia, the surface Rayleigh wave from the volcanic quake was moving across a rice field tossing plants in the sky as it passed.
     
  9. Reloadron

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    That had to be cool. During 75 through 78 I made extensive Pacific Rim trips twice a year. The Manila Hilton had a rooftop Bar, Lounge and Pool on top of the building. I had just sat down to my drink when the building began to sway with me on top of it. I hate quakes damn things spook the heck out of me and no offense with using spook. :) I think it is just a sinking feeling of helplessness during a quake.

    Ron
     
  10. nsaspook

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    That brings back memories, I usually racked at Philippine Plaza Hotel when in Manila. I was at the Subic base in 1989 when we had a series of quakes. I left before the Big One the next year.
     
  11. MrChips

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    Oct 2, 2009
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    The first night I was in San Francisco I was laying in bed when it started shaking.
    That was my "Welcome to California" call.
     
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  12. Reloadron

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    That's when I pack and leave. :)

    Ron
     
  13. dl324

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    Mar 30, 2015
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    Experienced my first earthquake in Santa Clara, CA in 1976 or 1977. About a magnitude 5; I didn't feel it because I was driving.

    Strongest I experienced was the 6.9 Loma Prieta in 1989. I was at work standing next to a huge blueprint copier, 4' wide, 8' long, 5' high. It was bouncing on the floor with me trying to get out of its way. Was on the second floor near non-load bearing walls that were moving like a wave. Difficult to walk, so I held on to a 4 drawer filing cabinet that was secured to a wall until it was over.

    The building had retrofitted earthquake bracing and not a single window broke.

    My Wife was driving home and thought she had several flat tires. It took me hours longer than usual to get home. The devastation was indescribable.

    My company expected us to go to work the next morning, while local officials were telling people to stay off the roads. The building hadn't even been inspected for safety. The operators answering phones had desks setup in the parking lot.

    Our head of HR declared business as usual from the safety of her office in Folsom.

    People on the lower deck of Interstate 880 had a pretty bad time when the upper deck collapsed on them.
     
  14. Glenn Holland

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    Although earthquakes are creepy and sometimes very fatal, you're actually more likely to be injured or killed in a car wreck. Everyone I've known who was killed by a man made event died in an auto-related incident.

    However, when it comes to natural disasters, it reminds me of the old saying "You can run, but you can't hide". There are earthquakes on the west coast, tornadoes in the plains states, hurricanes on the southern and east coast, blizzards in the northern plains states, and even volcanoes in Hawaii.
     
  15. awright

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    It is important to note that what we are seeing in the initial posters videos is the resonant response of the cameras on their mounts to the mild shaking, NOT vertical shaking of the rooms as apparently seen in the video! Similar to what we would see if he poked the camera with a broomstick on a calm day.

    Like thousands of others, I was awakened by the Jan 4th earthquake in the early morning hours in my home in the Rockridge district of North Oakland, seemingly directly above the epicenter described in the news as a few miles south of the UC Berkeley campus. It was one of the mildest earthquakes I've experienced in a lifetime of living in Oakland about 1000 feet from the Hayward fault. I do fear "the big one," but the January 4th event was barely noticeable even though sufficient to waken me and my wife.
     
  16. WBahn

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    Mar 31, 2012
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    There are certainly hazards wherever you are and whatever you do. That doesn't mean that it doesn't make sense to pick your poison.

    The problem I have living in tectonically active areas, whether it be earthquakes or volcanoes, is that when it goes it goes largely without warning and is sufficiently widespread almost instantly that you seldom have a chance to get out of the way. In areas where you have blizzards and hurricanes, you know about them well in advance to take precautions, possibly including getting the hell out of Dodge before it hits. Even with most wildfires you have enough warning to get out of the way. Most (not all) people that get killed or seriously injured by these kinds of events chose, after they were fully aware of the situation, to not take reasonable precautions or to get out when they could have.

    As for auto wrecks, most people that die in a car wreck die because of something THEY did wrong (dying from something that someone else did wrong is a pretty small fraction, which is almost self-evident when you consider the high fraction of vehicle deaths due to single-car crashes). If you maintain your car reasonably well and drive reasonably well (which includes ALWAYS wearing your seat belt) then your chances of getting killed or injured in an auto accident go WAY down. They do NOT go to zero. They never can and never will.

    The same is true for general aviation. A study a couple of years ago found that if you, as a pilot, did just three things your chances of dying in an airplane crash dropped to significantly less than your chances of dying in a car crash. If I remember, the three things were (1) don't run out of gas, (2) don't fly into bad weather, and (3) don't start the engine unless both you and the aircraft are capable of and prepared for the intended flight in the expected conditions.

    One thing that was not on the list, but I always thought should have been, was (4) don't fly single engine mountains at night. :D

    I remember my first instructor briefing me on the proper use of the landing light in the event of engine failure while flying single engine mountains at night. She said, "Using your landing light too soon over mountainous terrain can cause disorientation as your mind can't keep up with the rapidly and chaotically shifting patterns caused by the shadows, particularly over a forest." At this point I was really focused on every word she was saying. She went on, "So wait until you are within what you believe to be 500 ft of the ground and then turn on your landing light. If you don't like what you see, turn your landing light off because it ain't gonna get any prettier."
     
  17. Reloadron

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    Exactly what I would tell myself every time I got on a plane. :) Tornadoes are the rave here but at least with a tornado a set of conditions need to be right. Quakes have always spooked me.

    Ron
     
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  18. shortbus

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    This is not meant to turn this political (though from experience it will). What with all the faults along the CA coast, will oil and gas drilling that is now being proposed, do to quakes and their likely hood? The only quake I've ever felt, a magnitude 4, was caused by drilling/fracking/disposal of fracking waste.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  19. joeyd999

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    But this is not a binary choice. I've both lived in San Francisco and drove a car there. Surprisingly, I survived.
     
  20. awright

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    The interesting psychology of accepting various risks is that we humans appear to accept the risks we have lived with and fear those that we haven't. I tell myself I would never live in Houston due to flood risk, or in the Midwest due to tornado risk, or in Florida due to hurricane risk, yet I live comfortably in Oakland 1000 feet from the Hayward Fault where they warn us that "the big one" is overdue. But I was born here a couple of miles from the Hayward Fault and have lived here most of my 81 years. And others living in Houston or the Midwest or in Florida say they would never live comfortably in California due to earthquake risk. I guess our denial mechanisms permit us to live distributed around the land and the globe accepting (or denying) various familiar risks instead of clustering in a few assumed "safe" zones somewhere. By the way, where ARE the "safe" zones?

    I don't know what to do to minimize my risk in Houston or the Midwest or in Florida, but I have emergency supplies in a shed in the back yard, have performed foundation bolting and shear walling and framing joint reinforcement on my home and hope to remove the 5 tons of clay tile from my roof "soon." But soon enough? Who knows?
     
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