shake it up, baby

Earlier today I was laughing about the mention on the news of a 2.9-magnitude earthquake near Concord; 2.9 hardly seems worth mentioning, and hardly would be felt. Then, about twenty minutes ago, our own house started shaking, dishes were rattling, and the cats went ballistic, their claws scrabbling frantically on the floor as they ran wildly about trying to figure out what to do, as we experienced what is currently being classified a 5.6-magnitude earthquake whose epicenter is down near San Jose. We’re fine; the shaking lasted about ten seconds, and there was a fair amount of noise from dishes and glasses rattling around, and one picture tilted slightly on the wall, but furniture stayed put and there was no damage. All in all, pretty mild–given our distance from the epicenter–but relatively long. The 1957 quake, which had its epicenter here in Daly City, was a 5.3, so it’s a little sobering to think how this one might have been different if it had been closer.

The cats are still a little spooked, but Tiki’s just come into the kitchen to eat, so they’re starting to calm down.

As the earthquake was happening, I updated my Facebook profile with the info, and posted a twit immediately after I filled out the USGS questionnaire; I was frustrated, in fact, that it was taking so long for the USGS site to update with the current quake so I could submit our experiences. I’m such a geek.

4 thoughts on “shake it up, baby

  1. It is interesting to speculate about the different mechanisms that make earthquakes different in different areas.
    The 1957 earthquake was a 5.3 and caused more than $1 million in damage and injured something like 40 people.
    Tonight’s quake — and yes, it was different closer, as my still-shaking hands will attest — was 5.6, and it already looks like there will be precious few real injuries and little property damage. Probably the most expensive damage will be the windows at the Reid-Hillview airport control tower.
    It was a pretty strong “moderate” quake down here, but it is odd how it resulted in almost nothing more than a good scare.

  2. Wow- glad you guys are OK – hope the kitties recover soon. Did you notice them acting odd before it happened? I’ve heard stories of animals sensing earthquakes before they happen; just wondering if you observed it.
    Speaking of kitties; our new little guy fell into the hot tub this weekend. He’s OK – made quite a wet mess in the house though. And wouldn’t you know it the next time we were outside he was running on the edge of the pool. Guess he isn’t going to be a smart kitty :p

  3. I didn’t notice anything unusual in their behavior beforehand, and they seemed really taken by surprise. I remember mock-scolding Alex last year when we had the much milder quakes about not doing his job about warning us beforehand, but at least he had the excuse of being a Virginia kitty. These two are locals, and this was a bigger quake, but they didn’t seem to sense it coming.
    Glad to hear the new kitty survived his hot tub encounter. I have friends in Tucson whose cat fell into their hot tub one day and made a similar mess all over the house after he got out.
    Mojito (we’ve finally decided upon a name for the male, Mojo for short) is pretty much a floor and chair kitty. Tiki, however, is quite the jumper and climber. She’s been on top of the refrigerator already, and there’s evidence most mornings that she’s been on the dining room table. I’ve seen her leap four to five feet in the air when chasing the laser pointer up a wall, and one day she actually did a really cool Matrix-type run across the vertical surface of one wall, with her body parallel to the floor.

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