Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shake & Wake Earthquake: I Feel The Earth Move and Jessi Sleeps Through It

(Photo from: USGS)
Fault scarp of the Calaveras Fault in San Felipe Valley in the Diablo Range. The lone Oak Tree provides scale for this nearly 4 meter (12ft.) high fault scarp.

It's Monday... A little after 10am...

So?... And Your Point Is?...

I'm still warm, cozy and barely semi-conscious under the covers of my bed.

The hustle and bustle of people and vehicles outside my windows is slowly but surely growing louder... I smile to myself... I've lived here long enough that I've fine-tuned my ability to block the daily cacophony out.

I cautiously peek out towards the windows... Ouch! My mistake... Brilliant, blazes of sunlight are streaming through the gaps in the tops of my curtains (although, mercifully, missing me entirely) and striking the far top walls of my room.

I move my leg and feel Jessi The Dog curled up and sleeping on my right side, towards the foot of the bed.

I smile and close my eyes again....

Moments later I'm awakened by the sharp Flap!... Flap!... Flap! sounds of Jessi violently shaking her head. I recognize this sound as one she makes when her ear is tickling her. I turn to face her and rub her ear for a few moments as she leans into my kneading knuckles. When she's had enough, she turns her back to me and flops down to go back to sleep (You're Welcome.).

I turn around so my back's to her and - feeling confident that I can fall back asleep - I close my eyes and begin to drift off...

I've barely gotten cozy again when I'm jerked back to full-consciousness...

I haven't opened my eyes, but I'm awake... and I can feel my bed moving... jerking... And, it's isn't the little Bump...Bump! disturbance that I've come to recognize as a passing MUNI bus hitting just the right spot out on Haight Street.

My first thought was that Jessi The Dog was causing the shaking. Sometimes, if she sits up and scratches her ear with a hind paw while I'm laying down - it makes the bed shake.

I open my eyes as I lift my head just high enough to see Jessi... whom, to my growing surprise, is still laying with her back to me... still fast asleep.


I'm semi-awake and slightly puzzled... Maybe I was imagining it? I laid my head back on the pillow to check for movement...

Not only was my bed still noticeably jerking back and forth... It was doing it harder...

And, then, I heard two unmistakeable sounds that I immediately recognize as all-too-familiar earthquake sounds:

1.) The walls of my room began to audibly creak with the jerking motion I was feeling through the bed
2.) A solid wood table that my TV sits atop started to creak along.

For some unknown reason, in spite of the fact that I was now fully-awake and fully-aware that we were having an earthquake, I felt completely free of fear, panic and anxiety.

I sat up and looked at Jessi laying in serene slumber - just as the shifting plates of Mother Earth gave one hearty "Happy Monday" shove-off... followed by movement of quickly decreasing intensity... until I felt nothing but stillness once more - My Amazing Dog: She slept right through it all. (Good Dog!)

I climbed over Jessi and reached for the TV's "On" Button.

The epicenter was about 11 miles from a town called Morgan Hill.

Estimated between a 4.4 and 4.6 on the Richter Scale.

No, it definitely wasn't The Big One That We Know Is Coming... It's Really Coming!... It Could Happen!... Any Day (or Night) Now!... Causing - Within Seconds - Massive Destruction, Interrupted Communication, Power Outages and Fires!...

...Or Not.

No. I am not making light of it.
(But, I am making fun of it.)

It's a serious and ever-present threat for those of us who find ourselves in The Golden State.

But, I enjoy a certain degree of security in knowing that my Beloved Home is @ 100yrs. old. She not only survived The Great Earthquake and subsequent firestorms... She survived the 1960's and every quake/movement since. (Thank Goodness!) and She sits on solid ground/bedrock - unlike the Ritzy(See: $$$.) Marina District or Embarcadero.

My parents have long told me that, "Little earthquakes are good. Really! They allow the built-up pressure to be released that otherwise would be held back and built up until there was a Great Big Earthquake."


Sounds logical... Yes, I find it somewhat comforting... But, is it True? I don't know.

What I do know is this:

If You Are Interested in Finding Out How To Prepare For/Respond To/Recover From an Earthquake or Any Number of Potential Disasters...

There's Helpful and Trustworthy Information on 'How To Prepare' and 'What To Do If' in many different and difficult situations at 72hours.org.
(It's designed for San Franciscans, but there's a link at the bottom of the page for other Bay Area Counties.)


I actually wrote this Blog just after the event. I was just Previewing it when we experienced a Blackout on Haight Street.
So, my Blog and all the shop interiors were thrust into darkness. Sadly, I hadn't saved it, so when the power returned - my Blog did not.

I do not believe the earthquake and the blackout were connected in any way. They happened a few hours apart and only Haight Street seemed to be affected.

One of my astute neighbors - when I asked if he knew the cause of the 1-2hr. power failure - said this:


'nuff said.

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