Some of you may have heard about the earthquake that hit the SF Bay Area last Sunday morning. Earthquakes are pretty commonplace here since we're basically sitting right on a bunch of fault lines, but this one was the biggest we've had in a while. A long while. Like, since the Loma Prieta in 1989. That was a 6.9, and this was a 6.0. We usually just get quakes ranging from about 1.5-4, so this was huge. It's being called, I think, the Napa Earthquake, since that's where the epicenter was. There was quite a bit of significant damage in Napa itself, and also in American Canyon, which is only about fifteen or twenty minutes from our house. A few fires started as well and a main water line broke, causing even more extensive damage. There were over 85 injuries, and many, many buildings were severely damaged. There were no deaths, although four people are in critical condition, including a young boy who got buried under a crumbled brick fireplace. Please pray for all of the people who were injured and for their families, and also for all of the people who now don't have homes. It really puts into perspective how blessed I am that my house is still intact. Being just over fifteen miles away from the epicenter and the severe damage, I can't be thankful enough that my family and our house are safe.
Here are some pictures of the damage in and around Napa (I didn't take any of them):
At my house, there was damage enough, although thankfully it wasn't exactly to the structure of buildings. I actually wasn't at home when it happened; my brother and I were staying the night at our cousins' house and going to the American River the next day (which was, by the way, super fun!). I hate earthquakes. Immensely. I think they probably scare me more than anything; even a small 1.6 frightens me to death. Well, that one was centered basically right under our house, but anyway... I get extremely tense while they are happening, waiting to see how big they will get, and then when it is all over I get this feeling I can't describe, but it is so unbearable. So I was glad that I wasn't at home, but a bit farther away so it wasn't nearly as bad. My mom said that the earthquake itself felt like someone was picking up the whole house and then dropping it on the ground repeatedly. Lying in bed, she didn't know it it was going to get stronger or not, as it went on for almost a minute. They could hear stuff crashing and breaking in the house as it shook violently for what seemd like, I'm sure, forever. When it stopped, they got up and inspected the damage. We had a bunch of broken glass in the kitchen and pantry, since we keep most of our food in jars. The small cracks in our walls had widened immensely, and furniture was displaced as much as six inches. Books were off of the shelves, and anyhting that had been sitting on dressers, tables, etc., had been either knocked over or completely off. When I got home, most of the glass had been cleaned up, but I took some pictures of what was left to be seen.
Here are the cracks in our walls (some of them):
Here is some other damage I came home to:
|A dresser moved out from the wall|
|This statue had falled behind the TV and broke|
|(those shells had been on shelves above)|
This is my dad's root beer bottle collection that was on the kitchen cabinets. They are all different kinds, from all over! Unfortunately, they fell over in the quake, but thankfully only two broke.
My mom said she went outside to check on the animals afterwards, and the goats had come out of the side yard where they usually sleep - it's a pretty enclosed area with several tall cabinets and shelves - and into the open. I thought it was good, and interesting, that they knew to get away from stuff that could fall. We have had a ton of aftershocks, and a few I could feel at home. One woke me up a few nights ago and I freaked out. It was only about a 3, so I didn't get up. I just stayed huddled up in my bed and cried. :( I just wanted someone to hold me and make me feel safe, but I was just alone with my the-house-is-collapsing thoughts.
I've talked to several neighbors and and they all had a lot of damage in their houses as well. One said he tried to get up during the earthquake to stand in the doorway where it's safest, but got thrown back down onto his bed by the shaking. The police radios went out as well, which is NOT a good thing. People who work in stores such as Home Depot and such were being called in to work extra to help with the cleanup, as most things got knocked off of the shelves.
So y'all in other places may have tornados and hurricanes and things like that. We don't have those, but we do have earthquakes! This, as I said, was the biggest in twenty years, so they're not usually like this. And I can't say enough how thankful that God spared my town, my family, and my house.