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Earthquake Experiences  
User currently offlinePacificjourney From New Zealand, joined Jul 2001, 2734 posts, RR: 8
Posted (12 years 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 991 times:

On Monday just gone I had what I can only call a near death experience.

The strongest quake I have ever experienced shook where I live. I had the misfortune of being on the 14th floor at the time and REALLY thought the building was coming down, this was it, dieing a virgin.

People screaming, serious panic, what could break did break. Fire doors all slammed shut and unable to leave the building for 90 minutes. Got home eventually and every plate and glass in the kitchen was smashed, pictures all broken and all windows had popped out (as they are designed to apparently). Several buildings were on fire near my place and some still the next morning.

Coming from NZ and living in Japan I have had plenty of earthquakes but never anything like this. Anyone ever get close and personal with a big one ?

" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlinePacificjourney From New Zealand, joined Jul 2001, 2734 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (12 years 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 985 times:

Oh yes, it was 7.1 Richter !

" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
User currently offlineAviationMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 984 times:

I have had quite a few experiences while I was living in Mexico. Not long ago there was one here in Switzerland.

User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 42
Reply 3, posted (12 years 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 979 times:

Been through a 5.1 and a 4.7, nothing like a 7.1!

Reminder to those who forgot or don't know: each full point on the Richter Scale increases the force of the earthquake by 1000 (10^3).


Up, up and away!
User currently offlinePacificjourney From New Zealand, joined Jul 2001, 2734 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (12 years 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 977 times:

The amazing thing is that the Kobe quake in 1995 which killed 6-7000 people was also a 7.1 but this one had only about 150 injured.

Just shows the effectiveness of stiffer building codes.

" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
User currently offlineAlpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 976 times:

Damn, PJ, that doesn't sound like a fun time.  Smile I can't imagine being in a situation like that!

The only earthquake I experienced wasn't a biggie, but, in an area where you don't get them often, it was exciting. It was January 31, 1986-I remember the date, because it was three days after Challenger blew up on take off. President Reagan had just started the memorial service for the Astronauts in Houston, when, at our house west of Cleveland-with snow on the ground, no less-I felt this shaking all over the house. My parents had a multi-level plant-hanger, and it almost fell over.

I went into my grandmother's bedroom-she was very old by this time-and said, "Grandma, we just had an earthquake!". And she said "Oh, you're crazy!".  Laugh out loud Well, about a minute later, the news came on and said, yes, and earthquake, centered in Lake Erie northeast of Downtown Cleveland, had occurred. It was a 5.1, and shook up a lot of people.

We had another one a few years later, about a 4.7, but I didn't feel that one, although my dad, 30 feet away, felt that one big time.

Glad you're ok, PJ.

User currently offlinePacificjourney From New Zealand, joined Jul 2001, 2734 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (12 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 970 times:

Actually it's the ones like you describe A1 which are the really dangerous ones. Earthquakes where earthquakes are not supposed to be usually do the most damage due to those areas being unprepared, recall Cairo a few years ago.

PS not OK yet, still jumpy !

" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 42
Reply 7, posted (12 years 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 962 times:

Alpha, I was in that same earthquake. Not trying to bust your balls but the quake was centered off Painesville, 15 miles east of Downtown Cleveland, in a known fault zone. I was in middle school at the time and on the third floor of our building it felt like there was a heavy truck going by on the boulevard outside. Then it continued and the whole building "hummed." That's when I dove under the desk (one of those big heavy science lab tables) because I figured it was an earthquake. Most of my classmates ran for the door because they were scared. It was over in about 30 seconds.

There was another one later that year which I didn't feel either. My father told me he felt it, and one of our clocks stopped.

In the summer of 1999 there was another earthquake here, centered south of Painesville on the same fault zone; I now work in an office that has glass cabinets, and the first thing I thought once again was that there had to be a heavy truck moving around on the street outside. When I looked out, though, there was no truck, and the cabinets started rattling. My supervisor was right across the table from me and said, "What is happening?" and I said, "We're having an earthquake." She was incredulous until I produced a seismograph tracing from the USGS the next day.


Up, up and away!
User currently offlineAlpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (12 years 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 959 times:

Alpha, I was in that same earthquake. Not trying to bust your balls but the quake was centered off Painesville, 15 miles east of Downtown Cleveland.

Yeah, northest of downtown, in the lake, like I said.  Big grin

I read somewhere that Ohio has some of the biggest non-active fault lines in North America. We have all kinds of fault ridges running thorugh this area. Thank goodness the majority aren't active!

User currently offlineSeb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 12457 posts, RR: 14
Reply 9, posted (12 years 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 942 times:

I have been through the quakes before Mt. St. Helens blew in 1980 (up to 5.0), the Seattle quake Feb 28, 2001 (6.7), and the 3.1 centered near the Expo Center about 2 weeks ago here in Portland. I joke that I am one of the few people in the Northwest that has never lived in California and I feel that I am used to the shaking.

Having said that, any minute now, the 'big one' will hit...... lol


Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineCx340 From Mexico, joined Sep 2000, 609 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (12 years 23 hours ago) and read 934 times:

Well, living in Mexico City, you can imagine. . .

I have been through most of the big ones, I can't even remember all of them. Specially if you consider that there is an earthquake EVERYDAY, yes everyday, in Mexico City. . . .Only thing is you cant feel most of them since they are 3 pointers or less. . .You can only feel the big ones.

Of course, the worse one was the September 1985 killer quake (8.1 on the Richter scale). 10,000 people officially dead, but it is common word and knowledge that there were actually like 40,000 dead. I guess the worse part of it, aside from the horrendous death of people and the massive destruction of the city, was the following night when a 6.7 quake hit and people (including me) were terrified that it would all happen again. One thing was learned for sure. . .BUILD STRONG BUILDINGS. After this quake, except for some minor damage, no building has collapsed during the hundreds of quakes from 1985 to this date.

The two other I remember was one back in 2000 I think, around a 6.5 Richter Scale, where I was at my office on the 21st floor of a high rise building. Not a nice feeling, and it was a long one, close to a minute. As recent as three months ago we had a rather strong (but not too long) quake, a 7.3 if I remember. I remember because the ground really moved, but it did not last long enough to produce real damage. The bottom line is, if you live at MEX, you are probably used to it so chances are you wont even notice a lot of earthquakes when they happen.


User currently offlineMarcus From Mexico, joined Apr 2001, 1820 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (12 years 23 hours ago) and read 931 times:

My first experience with earthquakes was when I was about 7 or 8 years old in Tijuana, the last one was in March at Big Bear Lake in California......with some 5 or 6 medium to strong ones I experienced in Tijuana, Los Angeles, Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta in between the first and the last one.

Kids!....we are going to the happiest place on earth...TIJUANA! signed: Krusty the Clown
User currently offlineNZ767 From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 1620 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (12 years 23 hours ago) and read 927 times:

In NZ, being at the southern end of the so called "Pacific Ring of Fire", we have them everday too with most too weak or deeply centred to be felt.

Having lived in the Bay of Plenty region adjacent to an active volcanic island (White Island), no one would bat an eyelid when we got a tremor; it was that common. Quite fun.

The biggest one in recent times was the Edgecumbe earthquake of March 1987, a near miss for me as I had just moved out of the area.
That was about 7.1 on the scale and the factory where I used to work was extensively damaged.
Only one death (an old man suffered a heart attack as a result) due to the area being primarily rural with a low density population.

From there, I moved to Wellington which is a city waiting for "the big one" as it is built on two major fault lines.

User currently offline4holer From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 3085 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (12 years 22 hours ago) and read 920 times:

The big Mexico City quake always got to me because, incredibly, I was looking at a seismograph when it happened! I was in college and most of my classes were in the Natural Sciences building. I was standing in the main lobby where they displayed a live seismograph, just hanging out between classes, and it started really moving! I was wondering why I couldn't feel it when the pen was moving that much! Of course I saw the news that evening and understood.
BTW, while I live in PHX now, much closer to MEX, I went to college in (town of) Indiana , Pennsylvania, even further away, and it still registered that big up there.
Glad you have made it through all of the shaking so well! My worst (and only) was a 5.1(?) when I visited San Francisco a few years back. No comparison, I'm sure!


Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
User currently offlineCx340 From Mexico, joined Sep 2000, 609 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (12 years 18 hours ago) and read 909 times:


I clearly remember (though I was only a boy) that the newspapers and TV reported that the quake was actually FELT in the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and other southern cities' high rise buildings. That is, in the best of cases, 1,500 miles away from Mexico City and at least 1,750 miles away from the quake's epicenter, in the coast of Guerrero if I'm not mistaken. This gives you an idea of the intensity and length of the earthquake.

Mexico City has certainly improved the construction requirements and actual strength of the buildings. But remember also that the most affected zone of Mexico City was, and is with any earthquake, the center (where financial and working downtown is located, or was mostly in 85) and north east of town (where MEX is located), due to the fact that it basically sits on a "dried" lakebed (the old salt/fresh water Texcoco Lake), and obviously the ground and soil there is not the firmest, a lot of water there. Actually, in '85, all or at least almost all of the buildings that collapsed were on this area. The west, northwest and south areas of the city are mostly unaffected as they sit in hard volcanic soil. Fortunately, the quake started early in the morning (7;19 AM), so most people where not at work or at school yet. Actually, my father had an office on the 16th floor of a high rise in Reforma (one of the main avenues), and was about to get there when the quake started. His building did not collapse but his office had severe cracks and had to be structurally repaired to avoid later collapse. He was lucky, but many people weren't.

Thanks for your reply.


User currently onlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30015 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (12 years 12 hours ago) and read 897 times:

Get earthquakes up here all the time. Sime my foundation is so close to the bedrock I tend to hear them comming long before I feel them.

However I managed to not feel the 7.9 one that rocked the state last year.


The heaviest one I have felt was a 7.1 that was associated with the eruption of Mount Augustine in 1989.

That big one, and the one that was most fun for me was when I rode out a 6.6 on Adak Island in one of Reeve's 727's. It did get the aircraft bouncing!

User currently offlineArtsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4747 posts, RR: 33
Reply 16, posted (12 years 12 hours ago) and read 894 times:

When I was in Las Vegas in 1999, I had just come from seeing Sting play at the hard rock cafe, and a few friends and I went to the casino to play a little before bed. After polishing off what I would just say a few vodka and oranges, my friend was getting edgy and wanted to go back to the hotel. Just as we were leaving, the waitress showed up with another drink. So as not to be rude, I downed the drink in one and turned towards the doors, when I felt really dizzy....

I thought someone had done something to my drink, the room was.. it was moving, what appeared to be waves coming across the floors, and the chandeliers were swinging...., none the less, the room stopped spinning and moving about 10 seconds later, and I then realised we had just had an earthquake.... not near death, but certainly near....throwing my cookies

User currently offlineLH526 From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 2403 posts, RR: 14
Reply 17, posted (12 years 11 hours ago) and read 886 times:

I've been through a 5 or 6 Richetr while I was in Chile in early 1998. I was int eh appartment of ym grandparents in the 9th floor and boy it really shaked and bumped. For some unknown reason I felt safe .. but uncomfortable, you don't know what's happening, where it will move, where and in what direction the next bumb goes ... strange feeling.


Trittst im Morgenrot daher, seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer ...
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