June 16, 2005


Today's 4.9 is the strongest earthquake I've felt since moving out here three years ago (the 4.8 quake that occurred a few months after I arrived, despite being much closer, was nothing compared to this one--which makes me think that when Mike Davis knows what he's talking about when he says Los Angeles is located above a bowl-shaped layer of bedrock that reflects seismic waves in unpredictable ways). Just as the rattling and shaking reached the point where I realized it had to be an earthquake it was over. The cats noticed something odd was happening just a second after I did (obviously evidence that animals have an odd obliviousness and mysterious deficiency of intuition).

I'm sure the geologists are smirking at our collective naivete, but I'm one of those people who finds himself just a little concerned about all this recent geological activity. And I'm not even worried about earthquakes; for a few minutes the other night there was a real possibility of a tsunami hitting California. And what I'm really afraid to consider is that what we've seen in the last year--the California earthquakes of the past week, the Indian Ocean earthquake of December, increased geothermal activity forcing rangers to close trails at Yellowstone National Park--is just the supervolcano reactivation sequence.

Posted by jjwiseman at June 16, 2005 07:40 PM

Yah --- earthquakes and tsunamis are minor worries next to the supervolcano. Ash ten feet deep to a radius of 1000 miles, etc.

Posted by: Tim Converse on June 16, 2005 08:25 PM

God knows I love the SUPERvolcano!

But why is it you never hear anyone talk about "decreased" or seismic activity "returning to normal?" (I'd love to see a short film entitled "Boring News" or something.) Fact is, by the time we realize a real earthquake is happening, we're already fucked. Better to be concerned about stuff like possibly getting mugged, or what to do if you think someone may be about to poison you. All the answers, of course, are to be found in classic cinema. But that mother nature shit? Just give up now.

Posted by: Geoff on June 16, 2005 10:19 PM

I just saw your link on the supervolcano and I am just surprised to have not seen more research done on trying to cluster large volume of ashes together in order to avoid the ash winters following these eruptions (which is the real threat to our civilization). These winters have been known to exist for a long time and it would seem that a technological solution to getting rid of these clouds/large amount of ashes would not be unfeasible: Something like a swarm of cheap intelligent aerial vehicles...

Posted by: Igor Carron on June 17, 2005 07:53 AM

lol @ geoff - that was seriously funny

Posted by: joe on June 18, 2005 12:12 PM

If you're not too near the real earthquake, and not built on old fill, you might not be too fucked. Miles from Loma Prieta, people on sandstone (me) thought it was an unusually long, strong, earthquake. People on fill (my wife) were unable to stand up. In the Marina, a few blocks, a few feet in elevation, made the difference between cracks (my aunt's apartment) and collapse (those other houses that aren't there anymore).

But definitely, be sure that there is nothing that will fall on you while you are asleep in bed. Secure your bookcases to the wall, and be sure your water heater is strap securely so it will not come loose (especially if it is a gas water heater).

Posted by: dr2chase on June 24, 2005 08:13 PM
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