Shake, rattle and roll.

Sunday morning we took our friend Kathy up to Palomar Observatory to give her a private tour of the Hale Telescope (Freddy and I are back on our monthly tours in two weeks).
We then had a picnic lunch on the observatory grounds. It was really cold, but very pretty.

Once home we were sitting around just chatting about life the universe and everything.
Suddenly I felt a jolt. A really good one. Thinking that it was it was, I asked if everyone else felt it.
Sure enough, the whole family, (and Kathy) were excited to feel the little earthquake.
Normally that’s about all you get, a jolt and perhaps a little roll……. Not this time….. This time, a very short moment after the jolt there was a bit of a sway. Then another jolt, then more of a rhythmic roll. This last bit really got the house moving. We started to hear things moving around upstairs and could see the fence out the kitchen window moving in a way it should not.
All this went on for about 15 seconds. We started to talk about if this was ‘it’.
Another solid jolt got me to my feet and walking toward the back door. Once there, I did not go out, I was content to just stand (swaying) and watch the light pole in the street one house over….. It had a real twisting, shaking motion to it. Very cool.
Its hard to tell when your in a building when it all stops as the house (two or more stories more so) keeps going for a bit.
I would say, and other reports on the net confirm this, that the whole thing lasted about 30 to 40 seconds this time. It was a real event!

First thing I did was to jump on the computer. With in about 30 seconds of the event we got our first data from the USGIS web site. They said it was a 6.9 down in Baja.
As the afternoon went by, we felt a few after shocks and the USGIS web site got slower and slower. Reports today say that some 20 million people felt the quake… I’m sure a lot of them were online. It was a big event for this part of the world.

Here is a screen grab from the website this morning.

April earthquake map 
Click on it to make it bigger……..

As you all  probably know, its been upgraded to a 7.2 since.
The thing that I found  interesting was that within about 9 minutes of it happening we had another earthquake in a totally different area, and then 12 minutes latter, another and so on and so on. You can see this on the map. The big blue square is the main first event, then the others are after it. See how they are not all over the top of the big blue one, this means they are not just after shocks, but totally different events. (Linked, sure, but not from the same fault). It makes me wonder how close they were to ‘letting rip’ and this one released their pressure.

Anyway, it sure shook us up. Its the biggest event we have been through and really got the house moving around.
When (if) we get our next house I will be sure to put in anchor points for all our cupboards, TV and such.