Poor earthquake virgins. 5.9 probably felt like Armageddon to those who aren’t used to them. For Californians like myself, I couldn’t tell a 5.9 from the rickety Union Pacific train rolling by.
Of course, the Loma Prieta Earthquake back in 1989 was the most memorable for me. 6.9 It was the World Series – The San Francisco Giants vs. The Oakland As. The Battle of the Bay turned out to be both poetic and fortunate. A lot of people left work early or stayed late to join viewing parties. Traffic was exceptionally light on the Bay Bridge. Thank God. Part of the upper deck of the Bay Bridge collapsed on to the lower deck. I remember hearing someone who was on that lower deck say that it looked like a garage door closing. Had it been regular rush hour traffic, the number of casualties would have been much higher.
I was at home when it happened. I remember it clearly. I was downstairs watching TV. It hit a little after 5:00 PM – a strong jolt followed by rolling. My mom who was in the kitchen yelled “Get away from the mirror” (which was above the fireplace) and “Are you girls OK?” to my sister and her friend. “Yes,” they said in teenage sing-songy unison.
Even though I didn’t have an exciting story, I have one. Any Bay Area resident who experienced it should be able to tell you theirs.
So East Coasters, relax, and take care of those nerves. Even though it was scary, you will have a story to share and can answer, “Where were you when the East Coast quake hit?”