Monday, September 03, 2012
This one hit with a jolt but was over in five or ten seconds (or so it seemed). The epicenter was northeast of Beverly Hills, which probably places it five miles from my house. It registered a 3.2 I'm told. A Facebook friend in Long Beach said she didn't even feel it. We never lost power. Just sleep.
I wouldn't be surprised if we don't feel aftershocks for several days or weeks. Generally those pack less of a whollop. But they're disconcerting just the same.
My first thought was "Shit. Is this the big one?" The one in 1994 -- the Northridge quake -- was as big as I'd ever felt and hope to ever feel. A 6.7. That one just kept going and going. Pictures fell off walls, glass shattering. The house reeled and rocked. Our chimney fell off. And we were among the very lucky ones.
To my knowledge, only one person slept through that earthquake. A Paramount business affairs guy who had trouble sleeping took some heavy duty pills the night before and remained out like a light until morning. When he awoke and saw all of his dresser drawers open with clothes strewn everywhere he called the police and reported a burglary.
After seeing that everyone in the house is okay, the next order of business is usually walking around the place inspecting for damage. That is unless it's a BIG one in which case you grab the family photo album and get out of the house. Or, in the case of not-so-bright former Dodger, Pedro Guerrero. He hurt his back trying to lift his big screen TV. That was the one precious item he felt the need to take with him during evacuation.
Next we turn on the TV or radio. And here's where things are quite different from almost twenty years ago. Every radio station was live. Many TV stations as well. Many channels were able to switch to emergency coverage right away. Every radio station covered it. For many of us, that meant KFWB and their extraordinarily great anchor, Jack Popejoy. With reassurance and calm, he walked us through the crisis. Sadly, Jack is no longer with us. And most stations are automated.
So this morning I tuned up and dial the radio dial and found only KNX to have a live body. On the TV side it was business as usual. Ironically, one local channel did have news but were rerunning a newscast from four hours ago. Imagine tuning in to a newscast after a big earthquake and that story is not even mentioned?
But it's a sign of the times and on the plus, I didn't know the USA Network was airing CHEERS at 3:30 in the morning.
Anyway, all seems to be fine. I'll try to go back to sleep. How are you guys doing? Everybody alright out there?
This may be the first LA earthquake that's trending on Twitter.
Happy Labor Day.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM