Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Yes, I felt it

I've checked one more item off my list of natural-disaster experiences.

After nearly 2 1/2 years living in SoCal, I finally felt my first earthquake yesterday.

Even though the 5.4 magnitude temblor was centered more than 110 miles to the north in the L.A. suburb of Chino Hills, the jolt was still pretty strong when it reached us.

I was sitting at my desk on the third floor of the office around 11:45 a.m., when I felt the slightest vibration coming up from the floor through my feet.

That normally means one of my more stout co-workers is approaching, so I didn't give it a second thought. Then the vibration got stronger, so much so that I figured one of the mail clerks was about to roll by with a heavy load. But I wasn't hearing the noise that office carts make.

I turned my head away from my computer to look down the walkway next to my desk, and that's when it hit. A wave of motion rolled through the five-story building. Then it happened again. And then it was over.

My office building, which was built in the early 1970s, sits on a special roller system that allows the entire structure to rock rather than shake during a quake.

Many of my co-workers who have lived in the San Diego area for 10 years or more said the quake might have been the largest one they've ever felt here.

Apparently, that's no reason for comfort.

Rex says that in 1994 when the Northridge earthquake hit in the L.A. area, it felt like 10 professional wrestlers had grabbed his bed here in San Diego and were shaking it as hard as they could.

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