[quote]Originally posted by anamac:
<strong>And I thought this thread would be a nostalgic look back to January 1994 and the Northridge quake. Something that actually knocks you out of bed at 4:30 in the morning counts as a quake, but once in a lifetime was enough for me.
Anyone else here in LA for that one?</strong><hr></blockquote>
Funny you brought that up...I sure was!
My wife (at the time) and I had just arrived to Orange County from Tennessee a month-and-a-half earlier (Christmas 1993). She was a Marine, stationed at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, in the Irvine area.
We lived in base housing (upstairs 2 bedroom apartment) and that morning the Northridge quake hit, waking both of us up instantly. It was still dark outside, but we both sat up in bed and still felt everything rumbling.
Now, we were a good 40 or miles away (at least...maybe more?), but the rolling and shaking very VERY strong and apparent.
Veronica's first words were "Is that an earthquake?" and I said "It has to be...holy cow!" or something like that.
We jumped out of bed and I flipped on the TV and within minutes, there were already showing live footage from the area of fire hydrants spewing water, gas stations spewing flames, collapsed structures, messed up freeways, etc.
We immediately got on the phone and called our families back in Tennessee to let them know that we were okay (before everyone else in SoCal started getting on their phones and overriding the system).
So we called, assured everyone we were okay and that we weren't in any sort of true, immediate danger, then we sat down on the couch and just watched TV coverage for the next few hours, experiencing one aftershock after the next throughout the morning and all that afternoon.
Weird thing was watching the newscasters from L.A. and they'd be talking and suddenly the camera would quiver and they'd grab their desk a bit and say "okay, folks...we've got another aftershock coming through...hang on just a minute..." or whatever.
Then we'd sit and count the seconds for the aftershock wave to ripple it's way down through south L.A. and into Orange County, then we'd feel it.
Would always take about 5-10 seconds, like a bomb blast or sound wave. You see it or hear it, but if you're far away, you have to wait a few seconds to feel or hear it.
Same thing here. They'd feel it up in L.A., then our apartment would tremble a bit a few seconds later.
Those were okay because we knew they were coming and could expect them.
Still, it's a VERY unsettling and freaky feeling to have the one thing you consider firm and solid (the GROUND!) suddenly not appear to be that way!
Late that afternoon, we went to a grocery store and a pretty strong aftershock hit and that was probably the most tense, uncomfortable moment (besides the initial main quake at 4:30am, of course).
Standing in the grocery store, pushing a cart, and suddenly feeling like you're on a people-mover is NOT a cool feeling!