Tuesday, October 30, 2007

All Shook Up

I just got back not too long ago from having dinner and some beer with Joey (the recently married friend) over at the Tied House in San Jose. Anyway, we were seated at a table against the wall when all of a sudden we heard a thundering sound, and everything started shaking.

It's an earthquake. Ho-hum, all of us Californians have experienced plenty of these. But, then this one got pretty bad, and it was a second or two before Joey and I found ourselves sharing the tiny space beneath our table. Decorative glass and beer mugs fell off of the shelves and came crashing onto the table. Our dinner was ruined, and glass pieces were all over. I got a tiny cut on my arm, but it was really no big deal.

Anyway, after the excitement was over, we got moved over to a new table, and they got us new food and more beer. And, the manager did what any good manager should... they comped our meal.

Here's the info on the quake, in case you didn't catch it on the news... I wonder if it was even big enough to make the national news. It registered at 5.6 on the Richter scale, and it hit a little bit to the east of Milpitas, probably around 10 miles away from my place, and less than 5 miles from where we had dinner (probably why we felt it as strongly as we did). I heard that those all the way in San Francisco felt it slightly too.

Here's an image I pulled from the USGS.

And, because I'm kind of obsessing over all this data, here's a seismogram taken at a station nearby showing the quake.

Technically, we're not out of the woods yet. The USGS strong aftershock warning says the following:

STRONG AFTERSHOCKS (Magnitude 5 and larger)

At this time (immediately after the mainshock) the probability of a strong and possibly damaging aftershock IN THE NEXT 7 DAYS is approximately 30 PERCENT.


Most likely, the recent mainshock will be the largest in the sequence. However, there is a small chance (APPROXIMATELY 5 TO 10 PERCENT) of an earthquake equal to or larger than this mainshock in the next 7 days.

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