Let's get one thing straight. I am from Ohio. And as such, I am not used to massive shifts in our planet's tectonic structure.
When I moved to California this year I assumed I would eventually experience an earthquake or two. What I didn't expect, however, was to find myself living right in the epicenter of a record-setting earthquake cluster.
Here is what's been going on.
On October 13, the Northern California Seismic Network detected a small earthquake. And then they detected another small earthquake, and then another, and another, and another.
408 relatively small earthquakes have been detected since October 13.
This is a new record. The previous record was set in 1990 when 351 quakes occurred in Alamo, California.
Seismologists stress that there is nothing to worry about.
San Ramon is near the infamous Calaveras Fault. Apparently it is normal for large faults such as this to simply release their energy from time to time.
Most of the recorded quakes have been too small or deep to be felt, but when one did break through it blew my mind.
The first quake I felt made me think that a neighbor was simply opening his garage door. There was a slight rumble in my apartment's floor (I live on the third story), but that ended very quickly.
I was ecstatic! Now I could tell all of my wimpy Ohio friends that I survived an earthquake! Apparently this attitude offended some sort of California earth-spirit because the next day the smile was wiped right off of my face.
I was writing in the office after lunch when suddenly the entire building seemed to jump. It was the oddest sensation I have ever felt in my life.
I heard the walls and floors crack and pop, and more than a few of my coworkers shouted out loud.
After the initial lurch, the building continued to rumble and sway for about ten seconds, but it felt like a lifetime to me. My heart was hammering at this point and I no longer found earthquakes very entertaining at all.
The first lesson I learned is that earthquakes are terrifying. You go your whole life thinking that the ground is immovable, and then your office starts to fall over. Offices are not supposed to fall over. Earthquakes are scary.
The second lesson I learned is that people from California barely notice earthquakes. After that quake hit our office I was on my feet and looking around wildly for an exit. My Cali-born coworkers, however, never even stopped typing. These people are fearless when it comes to sudden changes in the earth's overall composition.
The final lesson I learned is that after an earthquake everything seems funny. I don't know if it is the adrenaline that just got released, or if it is the euphoria of surviving the freaking planet moving. But either way it makes for a good laugh.
I do not like earthquakes.
Continue Reading: [Photos] Massive Earthquake Hits California
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