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Earthquakes & Other Natural Disasters

Sun Feb 23, 2003 3:04 am

This morning here in Southern California we had an earthquake. It was a 5.4 on the Richter Scale, it struck at 4:19am and was centered about 4 miles north of Big Bear. Even though Big Bear is a few hours from me (I live in north Orange County), I definitely felt it, a swaying motion and my blinds hitting the window next to my bed. I immediately got out of bed and could not go back to sleep for about an hour. Even though I’ve lived here in California my entire life, earthquakes still scare the s$@* out of me.

Has anyone here lived through a natural disaster? If so, what kind? Did you find it “cool” or did it also scare the crap out of you?

Another thought I have… many prophets claim that natural disasters signal that the end of the world is coming. Do you believe this to be true? I simply don’t buy it… floods, earthquakes, etc. have been going on for hundreds and thousands of years and we’re all still here.

What do you think?

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RE: Earthquakes & Other Natural Disasters

Sun Feb 23, 2003 3:50 am

Very lucky this quake was only 5.4, because it sounds like it was widespread. A 5.4 usually doesn't jolt that much that far from the epicenter, as it was even felt down it San Diego (lightly of course).
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RE: Earthquakes & Other Natural Disasters

Sun Feb 23, 2003 4:33 am

You should look at your swimming pool when there's an earthquake...

When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
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RE: Earthquakes & Other Natural Disasters

Sun Feb 23, 2003 4:36 am

I've never have been in an earthquake; most quakes in Georgia are minor, like 2.0 or so, but the region is overdue for one. Severe thunderstorms, tropical storms, and the rare blizzard I've been through in my nearly 28 years living here in Atlanta.
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RE: Earthquakes & Other Natural Disasters

Sun Feb 23, 2003 6:53 am

Athens earthquake, twice. 1981 and 1999.

In 1981 it was 6,6 Richter, I was about 60km from the epicentre. I don't remember much. My family had to live in a tent for a couple of weeks before our house (originally built in the '30s) was proven safe to live in.

In 1999 it was 5,9 and I was 5km from the epicentre on the 6th floor of an office builiding. It was horrifying but I immediately thought that this building is one of the safest in Athens, really quake-resistand (antiseismic), built in 1995. It was oscillating back and forth, computer monitors fell of the desks, girls were screaming, the phone lines were overloaded.

I was working for a radio station based on the same building so I stayed there till late night gathering information from the authorities and getting them on air for the public. An uncle of mine was killed that day when the factory where he worked completelly collapsed.

Our house had to be extensively repaired. It narrowly escape collapse but now it's just fine.

Last November I was sleeping on the 4th floor of a hotel in the southern town of Kalamata when a quake woke me up. It was not so big but it was big enough to shake the hotel and wake me.

Natural disasters were happening and they 'll continue to happen. It's part of earth geology and ecosystem. Quakes in Greece is part of our lives, we are making efforts to learn to live with them. Also ask a Japanese to tell you about earthquakes. THEY know what a REAL quake is. And SanFran too.

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RE: Earthquakes & Other Natural Disasters

Sun Feb 23, 2003 6:59 am

1987 Whittier/Narrows earthquake
1992 Sierra Madre earthquake
1994 Northridge earthquake

1983 Hurricane Hugo

1977 Tornado Northern Indiana

Many blizzards

Earthquakes are the worst in my opinion.
Bring back the Concorde

RE: Earthquakes & Other Natural Disasters

Sun Feb 23, 2003 11:33 pm

Yesterday evening (23.02.2003) at 9h40pm Western Europe has been shaken by a small earthquake of 5.4 grades on Richter Skala.Epicenter was located around the Vosges in France but it was also felt here in Luxembourg (I was surfing on when suddenly the walls started shaking and rattling and all the stuff... aiuto!  Wow!  Wow! )as well as in parts of Germany,Swizerland and Belgium.

It was only the second earthquake I have personnally experienced so far , the first one having been the infamous one of 13th april 1992 epicentered around Maastricht...,scared the crap out of me and a lot of people here since earthquake is a rare phenomenom in this part of the world. (fortunately)
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RE: Earthquakes & Other Natural Disasters

Sun Feb 23, 2003 11:40 pm

There was an earthquake in Athens, Greece on September 1999 (I think it was the 7th). I was sitting at home watching TV and I heard a noise approaching, as if something was collapsing. I didn't understand what was happening until the sofa started shaking and some things fell from the top of the fireplace. The earthquake had a magnitude of 5.9. A lot of buildings collapsed in Athens and the surrounding area, killing over 100 people and leaving many more homeless. During the days that followed the disaster, there were many smaller earthquakes in the area.

RE: Earthquakes & Other Natural Disasters

Mon Feb 24, 2003 12:32 am

Driving (  Sad not Flying) From Virginia to Colorado, passed through a tornado Storm in St. Louis. Had to stop and take shelter under an Overpass. I was only 8 and was scared shitless!

Here in Virginia...we don't get any natural disaters

Prophets need to get it through there incompetent minds that "Natural Distasters" have been occuring for the last 4 billion years...since earth was "created"

Prophets are a waste

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RE: Earthquakes & Other Natural Disasters

Mon Feb 24, 2003 12:57 am

Tornadoes in Minnesota, South Dakota, New Jersey and Connecticut during my childhood. Later on went through at least 5 direct hits with typhoons on Guam.

Also experienced two very large earthquakes in the Asia/Pacific region. Those being an 8.2 at Guam in August 1993 and Taiwan's 7.7 earthquake in 1999 and the aftershocks both had. The Guam quake began around 6:35 in the evening while we were going through a Tropical storm. It was epicentered around 30 mils south east of us and same amount of miles under the surface. Still, it created several local tsunamis and flattened two major hotels, one which was a brand new and modestly sized hotel on Tumon Bay called the "Royal Palm Resort". It was a U shaped structure when looking from top down at it. There were two large 15 storey towers to it. One wing collapsed onto the first floor and tilted over to the other wing holding it up. It had to be demolished a few months later. A second hotel across the street that was only 3 floors high also came down. Amazingly no one was killed in this quake but there were many injuries. I think the car garage at the Nikko Hotel collapsed in part too? I ran out of my house at Andy South in Yigo, watched the structure gyrate up and down as one whole piece with no bending. It turned out ok although some houses reported water heaters being shorn off their pipes and the mess that created. The pavement was something to witness during this, all the cars in the car ports were jumping up and down like they were on a big full motion water mattress. My 1993 Toyota Tercel was jumping up and down off the pavement like one of those cars that has the rear end jump up and down in movies. This event lasted around 2 minutes. Guam came through pretty good overall thanks to it's pretty strict typhoon building codes. (save the two hotels that didn't fare as well). We were without power for a few weeks.

The Taiwan quake was far worse as it struck in the middle of the night (01:47am, September 21, 1999) and even though it was epicentered a little further away to my north, the rupture occurred right at the surface, a 100 km fault line called the Chelungpu fault moved *28* feet sending all that energy out just below the surface. Taiwan literally lost width that day. The result was devastating and you can still see the effects of it in some parts of Nantou County, Taiwan with large high-tension electrical towers, minus their wires, still tilted over at a 45 degree angle. Also can see water tanks on rooftops of houses that survived still tilted over. You see lots of new construction in Nantou County. Another area to see this is the resort hotel area at Sun Moon Lake. Many old hotels came down that evening and new ones that replaced them or old foundations covered with grass and weeds tell the tale. There is a large and completely wrecked Taoist temple in Chichi (the epicenter) that has been left as is to serve as a reminder of what can happen. Busloads of tourists come to visit it. The whole thing came down on itself, heavy gauge steel rebar is split out from concrete pillars like spaghetti. They did a great job with this stuff going top-down, but amazingly they used a much thinner gauge rebar wrapping around it (the horizontal rebar was about as thick as one's thumb, when the vertical rebar was as thick as a wrist, a dramatic difference). When the forces of nature started heaving things around horizontally and there was nothing of strength to hold it back, no wonder it came down. I took pictures of it a few months ago and it's quite a sight. The old railway station at Chichi was left at a 40-ish degree angle but has now been righted and strenghtened. There was original talk to demolish it but since it was wood in structure, it was easier to right and rebuild where needed. They did a great job on it. The not so fortunate though were in the large shoddily built apartment hi-rises in Taichung and elsewhere in central Taiwan. We're talking 20+ storey structures that literally tipped over or came down like card houses with people inside them. Many of them were built by unscrupulous contractors (some of which have gangland connections) that took shortcuts and paid off government officials to look the other way (unfortunately a common thing here). Many schemes to 'help the construction along' were such things as using large empty cooking oil cans instead of steel beams in walls and then pouring concrete around them to make it 'look' like they were steel reinforced concrete. When the quake hit, buildings like these came down rather easily. The walls literally were nothing but concrete around a square tin balloon.

This quake was felt all the way north as far as Shanghai in mainland China and as far south as Hong Kong. 2400 died and many thousands more were injured in the Taiwan quake. It was horrifying. House shook for over 2 minutes. The steel rebar in the walls was literally humming afterwards. We didn't lose power in the south, although northern and central Taiwan were without power for a while. The whole electrical grid was offline up there for several weeks.

Needless to say, Quakes are the ones I have the most fear and respect of. Tornadoes and Typhoons can't hold a candle to a quake.

[Edited 2003-02-23 17:04:26]

[Edited 2003-02-23 17:06:04]
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RE: Earthquakes & Other Natural Disasters

Tue Feb 25, 2003 6:39 am

I was in Istanbul when the 1999 quake happened (~17000 killed)

The neigborhood I live in is built on solid rock, so it wasn't that scary, I went back to bed after half an hour (electricity was shut down as a precaution). I didn't learn until the next morning how big a deal it actually was, until I went out and found that every single shop was closed (so eerie) and that there was practically noone in the streets, except in the parks, which were full of people too scared to go home. I went back home and switched on the tv, to see all the destruction, merely an hour's drive from home...
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RE: Earthquakes & Other Natural Disasters

Tue Feb 25, 2003 1:22 pm

Here's a link for the specifics of the Big Bear quake. The reason why it was felt as far away as San Diego probably has a lot to do with the fact that it was a pretty "shallow" quake (2.9 km). Back a year or two ago when Seattle had the big 7+ pointer, it did minimal damage because its focus was exceptionally deep; if I remember correctly it was several hundred km. If that one had been 2.9 km, Seattle might look a whole lot different now.
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RE: Earthquakes & Other Natural Disasters

Wed Feb 26, 2003 2:15 am

I have been in a 5,6 and 4,3 earthquake and some minor earthquakes of 2 on the scale of richter. It was really shaky.. the big one was the first one I have expierenced and it was quite frightening (I was aroun 9 year old then), the 4,3 earthquake was last year and was a result of many small earthquakes which struck the region at that time (including those 2 pointers).

I have been in 2 small tornado's one at a camping site which threw away all garden supplies and the other one at home, that last one costed a couple of trees and it was raining leafs, branches and hail and rain, but that rain is nothing special, we have have more often extreme showers in summer.

Well quite a lot actually for the South of the Netherlands, but ah well... luckily I have never been in a 7+ earthquake or severe tornado or such a thing.
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RE: Earthquakes & Other Natural Disasters

Wed Feb 26, 2003 4:42 am

 Embarrassment I made a typo.
Hurricane Hugo was in 1989 not '83.
Bring back the Concorde

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