Earthquakes are not just a "new California" happening. Check out this link and scroll down to see a list of the history of earthquakes in California. Either they didn't keep very good track back in the 1800s or . . . the number of earthquakes in the state are going up, up, up in modern times. Not a cheery thought.
I have to confess that I don't like earthquakes at all (I even like thunderstorms better). I felt a few little shakes last year. The chandelier swayed, the dishes rattled, and I dived under the table quick as a jackrabbit! Chad laughed his head off. He said that wasn't anything. Before that, the year I turned ten, I was staying with Aunt Rebecca in San Francisco (because of a scarlet fever epidemic in the valley) and I experienced a "little" earthquake. Not much too them, but they sure do rattle your nerves!
Chad doesn't think I don't remember my very first earthquake. (He is so wrong!) I was not quite four years old, but I remember it just as clearly as if it happened yesterday. It was back in 1872, March 26, to be exact. The center of that earthquake was up in Lone Pine. You can read about it here: Lone Pine Earthquake. It was a little town about 80 miles east of our ranch, up in the Sierras. The whole town was flattened and people were killed. And everybody in California felt that thing . . . me included.
The awful trembling woke me up in the middle of the night. At the time, I didn't have my own room. I slept with Melinda, thank goodness! It was dark, and I was asleep. Suddenly, a big trembling and shaking woke me up. The whole bed was rattling . . . no . . . rolling like I was in a boat. The glass lamps crashed to the floor. Everything on our shelves--books, toys, games--crashed to the floor.
By the time we got outside, the shaking had stopped. But my crying didn't. I wouldn't let Father put me down the rest of the night. And a good thing too! Because something called "aftershocks" kept happening. It was cold outside, but we all huddled together until the worst of it was over. Then Father sent Justin inside to fetch some blankets.
|Mother and Father went up to see the damage.|
For the next few weeks, everybody on the ranch spent the days cleaning up the mess. Our house had a lot of damage. It was stucco (adobe), and those kind of buildings fare worse than buildings like the barn, which are made of wood. Wooden buildings just "go with the flow" in an earthquake.
If I live to be 100, I don't ever want to experience an earthquake like that again.
Note: Andi experienced yet another quake. In 1906, when she was 38, she was visiting San Francisco, and what do you know? She was caught right in the middle of one of the worse earthquakes in California history! (And yes, I'm making all this up, dear readers. Remember, Andi is a character from a books series!) SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE
Extra note: But I'm not making this next part up. Mrs. M has experienced her own share of earthquakes in Washington state. She was in the fourth grade when a big earthquake just before school. The floor rolled and the hanging lamp swayed! Her most recent earthquake was in 2000, around lunchtime. The chandelier swayed back and forth, and she went outside with her children to see what it looked like. The cars bounced in the driveway and the telephone poles swayed back and forth. It was creepy. And just last year, she was awakened one morning to a small earthquake, which rumbled the cabin where she lives.