It was a quake felt in six California Counties, that caused a water main break, yet I totally missed it! Yes, I’m talking about the 5.1 magnitude rocker of an earthquake which hit La Habra and Brea areas of Orange County, California. According to Dr. Lucy Jones of CALTECH, the 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck the area about 9.09 PM pacific standard time, and it was felt as far north as north of Santa Barbara, and as far south as San Diego. This quake, which is .7 points higher than the one that struck two weeks ago on St. Patrick’s Day, is “ten times stronger” in intensity than that previous one which was 4.4 in magnitude. There is a five percent chance that another earthquake of a higher caliber can occur according to Dr. Jones, but the chance diminishes as time passes. It is notable because prior to the 5.1 quake, there was a 3.6 foreshock before the 5.1, and many smaller shocks have followed suit.
It still baffles me that I totally missed it, not that I’m eager to feel it. But given the intensity and the duration of the quake, which friends and media say seemed to last forever, although it was but ten seconds long, I’m still wondering what happened that completely prevented me from feeling the jolt. I am in Santa Clarita, celebrating my son’s birthday when it struck. We didn’t even feel it, except my oldest who was upstairs in his room. He was laying down in his bed when he felt his bed shook and his half-open door swinging to and fro. Those of us downstairs felt nothing, probably because we were so busy shaking our stuff with Just Dance on the Nintendo Wii while the birthday boy and his friends played X-Box 360 games. We must have been so consumed by it that we missed everything; not until my son came running downstairs to alert us, and after we started getting texts from friends did we turn the news to confirm it.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be too baffled as to how we missed it. While the quake of two weeks ago was less in magnitude, I felt it strongly, presumably because it was centered in Encino, which is not too far from me. Today’s quake is much farther south, but still I wonder why my son felt it in the same house and I didn’t. Is this normal, or could my being distracted have contributed to this?
Anyway, I hope this wakes up those procrastinators like myself, who have not gathered emergency gears. Multiple quakes in this month alone have made me more aware of the need to practice emergency habits with my family. It never hurts to prepare in case we really have the big one.