Friday, April 05, 2013

(A-Z) The Big One?





E is for Earthquakes










April and October are typically earthquake months in the San Francisco Bay Area.  April 18 was the great 1906 Earthquake and fire and Oct 17, 1989  was the Loma Prieta Earthquake.  Growing up, in San Francisco, we not only had emergency drills for bombs but also duck and cover drills for earthquakes. Each child in the early 60's wore military-style dog tags with our blood type on it. They would have monthly drills and we would separate into our blood-type-group. I am type O neg.  There was only 2 in the whole school -a boy and me.




On Oct 17,  1989 I had chili in the crock pot. It was a warm, muggy day and we were getting ready to watch the San Francisco Giants play in the World Series with our bay rivals, the Oakland A's.  Many neighbors were home,  some were still out on the highways and freeways and we had a couple of neighbors who were at the game.  A little after 5pm, it hit.  We had the TV on and it went on and off - I heard car alarms and then this loud rumble - At first I waited, to see if it would die down, but that loud rumble became a roar and I knew I had to take cover - I made my way to the doorway to stand - the boys (ages 5, 8 and 11)  knew what to do as well as we all took our positions.  Pictures were literally flying off the walls in the hall way, sideways.  A bookcase fell and just missed our oldest son.  I stood in the doorway, watching my huge picture window bow in and out - and my china cabinet was just about to fall before it finally stopped.  I remember yelling,

 "Noooooooo not my China Cabinet!"

I was troubled I said that.

We had a big mess but nothing major.  Lost many pictures and wall clocks.  We had a few cracks in some windows, and cracks in the wall.  The backyard patio was cracked.  The driveway was cracked and had been lifted up.  We did later find the foundation was cracked but was deemed safe.  Broke some old china pieces from my grandmother and mother. Our garage was a mess.  The rafters in the garage fell and we had stuff all over.  When we opened the garage door, half of it fell.  My 5 year old son was standing, where he shouldn't of, and got winged, by the edge of the garage door when it swung out, out of control. (A week later when the children went back to school, they had picture day and he has what we call, his earthquake boo boo on his forehead)   A few neighbors chimney's fell in the neighborhood.



Needless to say,  we were in shock. Was this the big one?  We had no power.  We had a gas leak that scared me.  The neighbor across the street yelled over at us, that the bridge had collapsed.  I was in tears. We  listened as the reports came in,  how the city Marina was burning and that the Cypress Freeway in Oakland had collapsed - How the stadium just 20 minutes from us,  were evacuating. I was so thankful my family was home together. All night long, we had aftershocks and we slept out in the living room with our clothes on.









It was a week or more, before we slept in our own beds and  even then, we slept in our shoes for a few days longer.  I was paranoid to take a shower and leave my kids alone.  I didn't want them to go to school.  After about 3 months of many good-sized aftershocks, many of us, started thinking about leaving California.  Everyone, in our community looked tired, drained and very stressed out. 

It was the biggest earthquake I have ever felt and lived through. 

To this day, when I hear car alarms go off, I think of that time.


Now I live between 2 volcanoes.





23 comments:

  1. We don't really have those here, thank god! Earthquakes scare the crap out of me!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember this day , but all from TV . It must have been awful to live through.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Made me think of the hurricanes we've had here in Southwest Louisiana, especially Rita. At least though, with them, we get some warning.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yep, lived through some pretty big earthquakes myself. Sorry you had to go through all that!

    Still, I prefer earthquakes to tornadoes or hurricanes...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi- just stopped in from the A-Z Challenge and your pictures gripped me. I used to live in the San Fran/Bay Area but moved out when I was a teenager. I was in a few earthquakes, but none as big as what you lived through. I can't even imagine. My best friend still lives in the area. The day of the earthquake, her brother was at the bank ATM. He got hit in the head with debris and a glass window shattered on him. It caused lacerations and knocked him out cold. Someone, instead of helping him while he was laying there helpless and bleeding, mugged him. When he came to, he was dazed, confused, had no wallet and no idea what happened. How frightening is that? I miss California, but not when I think upon that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poor guy. That must have been awful for your friend.

      Delete
  6. Oh my goodness how scary. I'm so happy to live in a safe area, but I have friends in Italy not so far from L'Aquila where there was a major earthquake a few years ago and I still think the town is in ruins. I can't even imagine the fear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. Oh well, every place has something.

      Delete
  7. How terrorizing that must have been. And sleeping with your shoes on just says it all about the situation!!

    I can't even imagine!

    The pictures are heartbreaking,and i remember seeing all of this on the news. We had a small earthquake on the east coast last year, nothing more than if the washer going off kilter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I remember back east having a few last year.

      Delete
  8. Wow, terrific photos. And frightening. Thanks for stopping by and commenting at my blog too. I think we're on the same page. News From Nowhere

    ReplyDelete
  9. Extra scary for those little boys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah they were pretty freaked out, asking us, when this was going to stop. I remember they had to get district psychologists to come to the schools to help the children as well as USGS, coming in and educating them.

      Delete
  10. Wow! Incredible photos and story.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow, what an incredible post. I can't begin to imagine what you went through. I have never experienced an earthquake yet but no we have moved to CA, I imagine we may do. I wouldn't know what to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look up in your local yellow pages or online, what to do in case of a earthquake in southern California. Watch some of the Videos etc and keep a backpack in your car just in case you are caught out and away from home. Keep some supplies at home for at least 3 days, more if you have room. Being prepared is always the best way to deal with it.

      Delete
  12. I have lived through earthquakes all my life. I was three when the Tehapachi and Bakersfield earthquakes hit. I have not missed one in all the years I have lived in California. We even felt yours in Southern California so we knew it was big. My San Francisco family was at the game. Still, I will take the earthquakes to other natural disasters and I wouldn't want to live between volcanoes.

    http://completelycalifornia.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not concerned with the volcanoes - once again it is just being educated and prepared.

      Delete
  13. Geez. I remember when this happened, and looking at the pictures sure does bring back a lot of memories.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The awful thing is just not knowing when they will strike. I felt this one too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. How scary. I wouldn't want to experience an actual large earthquake. I prefer them small.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I remember seeing the news and hearing about the earthquake when I was 12. I spent a couple years in California (at Monterey), and a total of 14 years on Okinawa, which is also prone to earthquakes, being on the Pacific Rim. We never endured anything like that, thank God. Thank you for sharing what must have been a harrowing experience.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Just stopping by from the A-Z Challenge list to say "Hi" :)

    Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

    xx

    ReplyDelete

Comments are good - I admit, sometimes I don't respond back, in time for a dialog. I bad! I will TRY and do better. Thanks for understanding.

Popular Posts