SUMMARY: Twenty years ago today.Twenty years ago this evening, just after 5:00 p.m., the Loma Prieta earthquake hit.
It was NOT the big one; registered a mere 6.9. For most of the millions of residents of the San Francisco Bay area, damage looked no worse than this (one of our chimneys) and mostly much less:
or this (a neighbor's chimney)
I already posted a brief, general account here two years ago.
And I posted some of my photos and other memorabilia on my photo site, with additional commentary about the quake.
I took no photos of the dogs and their behavior (well, I was a little preoccupied). But here's how it went with the dogs.
I was at work when the quake hit, about 15 miles from the epicenter and about 2 miles from home. After the main shaking stopped--and it continued for about 30 seconds, which feels like an eternity when the ground is shaking so hard that you can't really walk--we all evacuated rapidly into the parking lot, where we gathered around our cars listening to the car radios. (Remember--no cell phones, no world wide web. This was "the good old days"!) Aftershock followed by aftershock rolled across the earth, but none so bad as the original quake.
When the aftershocks had died off somewhat, upper management checked out the building quickly: It was a mess (yes, that's the air conditioning ducting hanging out of the ceiling and my co-worker's collapsed bookcase), but didn't look like it was on the verge of collapse. so they escorted us into the building in groups of 3 at a time--to dash in, grab our purses or car keys or wallets, and go back out the the parking lot.
Sheba hated every minute of it. I think that she was in a literal state of shock herself; eyes wide, panting uncontrollably, not interested in eating, shaking and trembling every time an aftershock came, and continuing to do so for a long time after each one. On that first night, I didn't feel comfortable sleeping in our second-floor bedroom (especially with the bureaus and closet doors and such strewn around, and especially not with the aftershocks continuing). So we opened the sofabed in the one-story part of the house and slept there.
Eventually I gave up on contacting the vet that day (and possibly the following day). She didn't relax for several days, and I'm not sure how much sleep she got during the first couple of days.
Amber, our German Shepherd/Golden mix, as a counterpoint to the husky, remained unimpressed by anything having to do with the earthquake. On an aftershock, she'd lift her head wherever she was sleeping at the time, look around in mild annoyance at the disturbance, and go right back to sleep immediately afterwards. Thank goodness, because having TWO dogs shaking and drooling and panting on my chest all night would have been a little too cozy.
And neither of them EVER gave any indication that they had an inkling about an earthquake or aftershock about to occur. None of my dogs ever have. Dang worthless earthquake predictors.
I was amused, however, when my office eventually reopened (after the earthquake safety inspectors had been through) and discovered this on my Far Side calendar for the day after the quake: