Whittier Earthquake – March 16, 2010 & October 1, 1987

Whittier Earthquake – March 16, 2010 & October 1, 1987

I have lived my whole life in Southern California and I’ve felt quite a few earthquakes in my time living here. The biggest one I’ve been involved in was the Whittier Narrows earthquake which was a 6.1 back in 1987. I was 10 years old at the time and my 5 year old brother and I were staying at my Grandmothers house the quake happened in the morning while we were all still sleeping. Both my brother and I were on beds that had casters so they could be rolled when the earthquake hit our beds moved around quite a bit. I ended up on the other side of the bedroom and so did my brother it was pretty amazing how much it shook. After watching the news we found out that the 3 story parking structure at “The Quad” was leveled luckily no one was injured since the stores there were not so early in the morning.

Fast forward 23 years later to March 16th 2010 and at 4:04am we had more seismic activity which woke me everyone in my apartment complex including me. I went to bed kinda late after watching TV and falling asleep on the couch. I crawled into bed at 1am and only had a few hours of sleep when our bed began to shake violently. I heard kids screaming across the courtyard and Caitlin popped up out of bed with a fright. Jen and I got out of bed and rushed into the bedroom to check check on the kids. Jessalyn (4) woke up but quickly went back to sleep. Caitlin (15) work up and was quite shaken up stating “I’m too scared to go back to sleep”. I had work in the morning so I told her everything was going to be all right and I went back to bed. I wasn’t about to go to bed without knowing the magnitude of the quake so I went to Twitter and the trending topic was “Earthquake” which I think was still ranked under “Justin Bieber” or something. Anyhow All my twitter friends flocked there to update their statuses stating if they felt it or not.

I then went over to the USGS “Did you feel it” website and posted that I indeed felt it and answered their 10 or so questions. Not many people posted to that site 3-4 minutes after the event so it was kinda cool to be one of the firsts to do so. After that I tried my best to go back to sleep.

Below are some postings from various websites that I copied from WWU.edu and Wikipedia so save you the trouble or finding them yourself.

From Wikipedia: Whittier Narrows earthquake

On Oct. 1, 1987, at 7:42 a.m., the Whittier Narrows earthquake struck, the epicenter six miles (10 km) north by northwest of Whittier. The seismic event, which registered 5.9 on the Richter scale, resulted in eight casualties and massive damage to uptown Whittier’s historic buildings. In the years following the earthquake, the city’s deteriorating uptown business district, which suffered substantial damage in the earthquake, became the focus of renewed development, which has met with opposition from many Whittier citizens. Out of the rubble of the earthquake the Whittier Conservancy was formed in 1987 in an effort to stop the demolition of many historic buildings and residences after the disaster. The city also created a Historic Resources Commission to oversee the approval of historic designations and Mills Act proposal.

From WWU.edu: Partial Collapse of Parking Garage, Whittier, CA, 1987 Earthquake Earthquake of October 1, 1987, Whittier Narrows, California. Partial collapse of the May Company’s three-level parking garage at Quad Shopping Mall in Whittier. The structure, built in 1965, is located at the corner of Whittier Boulevard and Painter Avenue.