Monday, July 17, 2006

I felt the earth shake under my feet... honestly.

Yet another occasion in my life causing me to seriously question my own sanity has arisen. Here's what happened. Last night, I went to bed around 11 pm, completely conked out, and then was woken up again by the room shaking. In my confusion, I failed to look at my clock to see exactly what time it was, but I deduced that I was in fact in the middle of an earthquake. A small one, but an earthquake nonetheless.

Here's why I am convinced that it was an earthquake and not a vivid hallucination: the glass of water on my desk was trembling Jurassic Park-style, the walls were shivering, and the floor seemed to be vibrating. So it was either an earthquake or my hangover from Saturday night was worse than I gave it credit for.

Although, to be fair, I have been known to hallucinate during the night and see things that are not actually there -- bugs, people, animals, etc. -- but I am pretty sure this was real. I went on this website today to check: http://quake.wr.usgs.gov/recenteqs/Maps/SF_Bay.html
and it turns out there were 2 earthquakes with a magnitude of at least 2 in the last 24 hours. One originated near San Jose but it was at 9 pm, so that is probably not the one I felt since it was probably around midnight when I woke up. The other quake was up north in Cobb, California (where my aunt and uncle have a cabin, "Bourne on the Cobb") and it was at midnight. However, it seems unlikely that a girl in San Francisco who never feels earthquakes when they happen would feel a 2.0 quake that originated 2 hours north of the city.

So this is a puzzler. Either I felt the aftershocks of the San Jose quake, which was a 2.9, three hours late, or else I felt a little quake that happened really far away. OR, I'm crazy. We can never exclude that possibility completely.

I really hope that an earthquake really happened, not just because it would soothe my worries about being nuts, but also because someone told me today that little earthquakes release seismic pressure or something, which lowers the chances of a "Big One" hitting. Does that sound scientifically sound? Probably not, but I am going to believe it. I don't want to turn into a paranoid freak about the Big One like some people, who will go unnamed (my mother). I look at earthquakes as one of the many joys and excitements of living in northern California.

Just in case, check back with me on this stance after California has detached itself from the continental United States and is floating into the Pacific.

1 comment:

  1. Afterthought: I think the "earthquake" I felt may have been a truck rumbling by. Letdown!

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