Monday, May 18, 2009

My first Los Angeles earthquake

Of all the things that might happen to me out here in California, I figured an earthquake was the least likely. It seems I was wrong. Lying on my bed, updating my blog, I suddenly realised that the trembling I could feel wasn’t the band practicing below, but the start of a proper earthquake.

The house rocked to its foundations, and the blinds and furniture rattled away. Nothing broke or fell, and it was over before I had time to realise I had no idea what I should do in an earthquake if caught on the second floor of a huge old wooden house.

If I had been in London, my first thought would have been ‘bomb’, having lived through the IRA reign of terror, and been caught up in both the Camden & the more recent July 7th bombings, but here an earthquake seemed the obvious cause. Twitter soon informed me, through my friends here in LA, and The LA Times’ excellent news feed, that it registered 4.7 on the Richter Scale.

Lucy Jones, seismologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, has just been quoted in The LA Times Online as saying, “Nothing about the quake or its aftershocks looked unusual, she said.”It's a real garden-variety California earthquake so far."

That’s put me in my place.