Monterey County

Northern California quakes shaking things up this past weekend

Quakes hit Carmel

CARMEL, Calif.-- Sunday night a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Eureka with lots of aftershocks. The earthquake was the state's largest earthquake in nearly a decade, but it didn't leave much of a mark.

In California, we're always on the lookout for the "next big one," and quakes like the one Sunday night, are a reminder to stay prepared. According to the American Red Cross there were no immediate reports of damage or injury, and no tsunami warnings were immediately issued.

The problem with earthquakes is we can't generally predict when they are coming, but we know they will come, and there are some ways you can stay two steps ahead.

One resident from Carmel, Marc Oman, whose wife was woken up by the quake, was caught by surprise on Saturday morning.

"She jumped up, and woke me up. She asked me if I felt it, but I said no," said Oman.

His wife felt the entire house shake. For the next 20 minutes they braced themselves for the after-shock.

"We grabbed our dogs, our preparedness kits, and just waited to see what was going to happen," said Oman.

They never felt the after-shock because by the time the waves reach the shore, they had dissipated significantly. The U.S. Geological Survey said the north coast felt only moderate to light shaking.

Oman and his wife don't take the threat of an earthquake lightly. They have preparedness kits for themselves, and for their dogs, Winston and Winifred.

"An emergency is just that you don't know when it will happen," said Oman.

Wanda Vollmer with the American Red Cross said the earthquake that shook her kitchen cabinets, should be a wakeup call to everyone.

"Some people don't want to face the fact that there might actually be an earthquake, so they think about it, but don't take the time to make a preparedness kit and emergency plan," said Vollmer.

Flashlight, radio, food, water, first aid kit, and batteries are just a few of thing that should be in an earthquake preparedness kit.

Geologist Bob Barminksi said because the earthquake took place 50 miles off shore and about 30 miles deep, a lot of people like Oman didn't feel it.

"The shaking would have been more severe if the energy was compressed over a shorter interval like the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, which is about the same magnitude of this one, except the shaking took 17 seconds, as opposed to this one, which the preliminary data says it took 30 seconds," said Barminks.

The time interval is the reason the aftershocks the Oman's were expecting never happened.

"The second hit never came, so we went back to sleep," said Oman.

But for the Omans, every shaker is a reminder to be prepared, so they're ready when the "Big One" hits.

The American Red Cross offers the following earthquake preparedness tips for residents:

  • Obtain, assembly or update your own emergency preparedness kit : Keep a portable kit with enough supplies for three days. It should include a first-aid kit, essential medications, canned food and a can opener, three gallons of water per person, protective clothing and/or rain gear, a battery-powered radio, a flashlight and batteries.
  • Prepare a Home Earthquake Plan : Choose a safe place in every room - under a sturdy table or against an inside wall where nothing can fall on you. Practice drop, cover and hold drills at least twice a year. Teach children those drills as well. Make sure you have emergency contacts.
  • Know what to do when the shaking begins: Drop, cover and hold! Move only a few steps to a safe place. Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it's safe to exit. Stay away from windows. If you're outside, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees and power lines, then drop to the ground.
  • Know what to do after the shaking stops: Check yourself and others for injuries. Look for an extinguish small fires. Listen to the local radio for instructions. Expect aftershocks- each time you feel one, drop, cover and hold.

For more tips, visit the American Red Cross website or download the free Red Cross Earthquake App. 

comments powered by Disqus