'Pandemonium' 'Screaming' and Other Earthquake Observations

Categories: Environment

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From my vantage in the Mission, last night's magnitude-5.6 earthquake felt like a long, albeit gentle, tumble on the spin cycle. Several people I've spoken to didn't feel it at all, so it was surprising to see this headline from the AP: "San Francisco Rattled Bby Strongest Quake Since 1989." Well, geez, when you put it that way...

Of course, the closer to San Jose, the crazier the stories, since the temblor's epicenter was near Alum Rock in the Diablo foothills. Thankfully, there have been no reports of injuries, and damages seem to be confined to the odd broken water pipe and shattered wine bottle. The USGS reports 10 aftershocks, with the biggest topping out at magnitude 2.1.

The best quake anecdote yet? The Chronicle's quote from guitarist A.J. Flores, who was playing with his band in San Jose:

"Yeah, man, we thought we were really rocking out," Flores said, adding that the musicians quickly realized it was an earthquake and not their Metallica cover song that caused the ruckus.

If nothing else, it reminds all of us to think about getting our shit together for when the Big One actually does strike.

-- Brian Bernbaum

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