: views from the Hill

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I felt the earth move ...

We walked the 1.7mi or so down to Postrio for a 7p dinner so we could use a gift certificate we placed the winning bid on at a non-profit event last June. The certificate was good for a chef's tasting menu for two. We splurged on the wine pairing with the meal and were well into dinner when I felt my chair give a shake.

"Earthquake," I said to his nibs. He nodded.

My chair shook again. "A good earthquake," I said. He nodded again.

My chair shook a third time and we looked up to see the inside of the light fixture above us begin to sway. The light fixture itself was locked in solid.

The shaking stopped and as we always do, we began to guess what the magnitude had been. I guessed a 3.2 somewhere in the near East Bay.

No one in the restaurant seemed fazed by it all. The women sitting next to us mentioned it to the waiter. "You probably just had too much to drink," he replied.

re the magnitude Turns out I was nowhere near: the quake was a a magnitude 5.6. 5 miles NNE of Alum Rock, CA (in East San Jose, up in the hills where I grew up). 9.2 km (5.7 miles) deep. Lasted quite a while too. We didn't feel the quake as strongly as we would've if the quake had been shallower.

We haven't had anything as strong as a magnitude 5.6 in quite a while.

Hadn't seen this at the USGS site before. His nibs says he'd seen it: it's a relatively recent addition to their set of earthquake goodies:

Real-time Forecast of Earthquake Hazard: Maps showing the probability of strong shaking at any location in California within the next 24-hours.

The Web is a wonder.

Update: According to the Chron, the quake was the strongest since the Loma Prieta in October 1989. I thought so last night, but couldn't find any verification for the gut feel. The Chron also quotes folks saying that this quake, which happened right where the Calaveras splits from the Hayward, might have consequences for spots further north on the fault lines. Batten down those hatches!

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