I'm a Military Blogger


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Earthquakes...just what I needed

As you've all probably heard from the news, there was a 7.2 earthquake down in Baja California this afternoon.

I had just finished deep-scrubbing the floors and kitchen, and was perched precariously on the arm of the sofa, waiting to see the finale of an America's Next Top Model rerun. The vases on the kitchen table suddenly began to tremble and shake against the table, creating a "bump bump bump" noise. At first I thought maybe there was an incoming helicopter, as those things have a tendency to shake the walls. But the lack of aircraft noise said otherwise. My next guess was that my neighbors downstairs were banging on the ceiling.

I stood in the living room looking around, confused, wondering why my apartment was vibrating? Were other people's apartments vibrating? I decided to leave the building just in case our apartment building was being demolished or something random like that. I walked over to the front door (which was locked) and suddenly it started to shake on its hinges. It was banging over and over again against its own lock, and our porch door was pounding and pounding and pounding until the door jam popped and it flew open. The pictures hanging above the TV crashed down, one of the vases on the table bowled over, and I saw outside people running out of the pool as the water sloshed over the sides like river rapids. One of the neighbors ran out of his apartment and braced himself at the top of the stairs, which are under construction and looked like they might just topple over.

I just stood there, for the minute/minute and a half that the shaking lasted, in the middle of my living room, wondering what I was supposed to do, if the building was going to crumble, should I get in a doorway or maybe under something? Don't they always tell you NOT to go outside? I couldn't remember. We're on the very top floor of our apartment complex and part of our bedroom actually free-hangs over the parking lot with no support underneath it. I thought for sure it was going to go careening into the cars below.

The shaking died down after about a minute and a half, but the building continued to tremble a little bit as it slowly regained its composure. I picked up the phone and the first person I called was my mother in law. I told her I was just in an Earthquake. I still wasn't entirely convinced it was an earthquake though...maybe our apartment was just falling apart or there was just a really large truck that rumbled down the road. I checked the USGS website and noticed they hadn't reported any earthquakes...then again, it was only 3 minutes after. So I reported it to them, still slightly convinced that maybe I had just imagined everything.

Once my report went through I noticed a few others from the area and that's when I realized I was actually IN an Earthquake. Then I realized this is actually the second earthquake since DH has been gone. The first one was a 4.4 up in LA the first week he was gone. A shockwave went down the fault and through our apartment, rattling the door for a second, and then it stopped. But this one was much much worse. I could feel aftershocks for a few hours afterwards, starting with mild but noticeable tremors and slowly dying off into slight vibrations.

Anyways, the point is, that earthquake threw off the entire karmic balance of my day. What was originally turning into a productive day where I might actually finish everything on my list soon turned into a "did you feel it?" man-hunt to find other people on the internet that felt it. Then, after we all compared out "where were you?" stories, I emailed DH and told him about the earthquake, just so he doesn't have to hear about it from someone else.

Then I called our insurance company and sat on hold for an hour trying to order earthquake coverage. Then I started planning emergency kits, checked the exterior of the building for cracks, calmed down my very terrified cat, did a walk-around of our vehicle, called my parents to tell them I didn't die, and took a bath to calm my nerves. Throughout all of that I could still feel little aftershocks, both real and imaginary. I felt about 30 aftershocks, which I know is way more than actually occurred, so I'm pretty sure a lot of those were just imagined by me...little house creaks that ended up magnified in my brain as actual tremors.

Nothing else on my list was completed, and actually there was more of a mess since I had to clean up a shattered vase and picture (plus I found out later that my cat actually went ape shit and ripped the blinds off the window, so I had to put those back up). One of my flowerpots on the deck toppled over, so I had to clean up the dirt that spilled, and my recycling bin was blown over and I spent about 20 minutes gathering up all my cans and bottles.

Ironically enough, some of my friends didn't even feel it. I don't get it. How did they manage NOT to feel it when I lost a vase, a picture frame, a potted plant, a set of blinds, and my sanity all in 60 seconds? That just boggles me. (Oh and if you feel like getting technical, our hummingbird feeder flew off the hook and landed in the tree below...but that's pretty minute compared to collapsing houses in San Diego).


Gaile said...

Wow, that's crazy that it did that much damage! I'm only (maybe) 15 miles farther from the epicenter than you, and we FELT it, pretty strongly, but nothing all that scary, other than the duration of the quake. Nothing broke, or really moved all that much here - couple of pictures needed to be straightened out on the walls.
Glad you survived it OK, and hope we don't have any more serious ones before your hubby gets home!

Kirsten said...

Isn't it typical that things like that happen when you're going through a deployment! It's like we're being tested. Hope you are able to get back to normal!

AmandaCervantes said...

lol I'm still baffled. I'm sad. I wanted to feel it! Grrr...Maybe its my bottom floor apartment? Maybe they are built better?
Btw, they tell you to go underneath something and don't go outside. So going under a table would be right. =D