Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Perils of Paradise

Sometimes I forget that I live on top of a major fault line. It's just not one of those things you think about on a regular basis. Yesterday, I was reminded.

I didn't feel anything in Moorpark, but it might have been because I was outside running at the time. It's not improbable that it was just too difficult for me to distinguish between the earthquake and my own shuddering gasps for air (?).

Matt felt it in Northridge though (see the map here - you may need to click on it to see the labels more clearly). He had the same sort of experience I did a few years ago - at first, it's a pretty novel, neat experience . . . and then it lasts just a little bit longer than you're comfortable with; you're jolted (if you will) back into reality, thinking about how serious the situation could be; and you're ready for it to stop. He did say it was at least a better experience than the one we felt about a year ago, which he would have been more than happy to sleep through. I'm a light sleeper and had been woken by the sound of the bedroom window rattling. Naturally, I thought a deranged, blood-thirsty serial killer was trying to break in, so I shook Matt awake harder than any earthquake could have. Wouldn't have irked him so if that wasn't like, oh, the 4th time that week I'd woken him up that way. What? We'd just moved in and I wasn't comfortable sleeping in the new place yet.

In the end, yesterday's quake was downgraded from a 5.8 to a 5.4 on the Richter scale. Not bad. Just the same, for several days after a quake like this, I find myself braced for potential aftershocks and hoping that the quake that we experienced wasn't actually a "foreshock" (precursor to a bigger one). And, while I worry unproductively, Matt typically double-checks our
earthquake preparedness kit and then we both pay lip service to renewing our CPR certifications. How much do you remember about first aid and CPR?

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