Earthquakes and Natural Disasters

Northridge Anniversary

Today is the 7th anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake (M6.7). At 4:31am in the morning, the earthquake waked everyone up. If you were living in Southern California at the time, you instantly remember what you were doing and your immediate reaction (of course most people were sleeping). My dad was getting ready for work, and after the quake headed off to work as if it was any other day. I remember being woken up by my roommate Alex, and since it was an off day from school (it was MLK day), promptly sat down and watch events unfold on TV.

Some of the things I vividly remember: The guy trapped in the collapsed parking garage, the shot of all the dust in the air, the truck stranded on the island of I-5 that didn’t collapse, the story of Clarence Wayne Dean – an LAPD officer who was riding his motorcycle in the darkness to his assignment in the damaged area, only to plunge to his death at the collapsed 5/14 interchange, the apartment collapse in Northridge, and last but not least, the collapse of I-10 on one of the busiest stretches of freeway. These were only some of the stories surrounding the quake.

The quake was only the second on record that showed a greater vertical movement than a horizontal movement. This quake, along with the 1989 Loma Prieta Quake, forced CalTrans and state engineers to re-assess how bridges were built. Most bridges in California were reinforced, and some bridges were earmarked for complete replacement – they are still arguing and negotiating the replacement for the Bay Bridge.

Contrary to popular belief, earthquakes do not drive the cost of housing down. The SF Chronicle had a good article just yesterday. So much for that theory, I guess I just need to hope that we get a recession and I somehow manage to stay employed. Speaking of employment, it took me an hour and 20 minutes to get to work today. I wish we would go to staggered hours for everyone like what was instituted during the 1984 Olympics.

Random bizarre article of the day: Kimberly-Clark aims for breakthrough in toilet paper – Discuss…