(Posted to Facebook on July 6, 2019)
Yesterday’s earthquake was 7.1 near Trona and the intensity drops with the distance from the epicenter. And drops quickly. It was probably a high 6 in Ridgecrest. Had Ridgecrest experienced the full 7.1 it would have been damaged as Trona apparently is, “looking like a tornado went through the town” according to an eyewitness. Down here in LA it probably felt like a high four on the Richter scale if you lived on soil or sand, a lot less if your house is built on bedrock (we only felt the big one in our pad high atop Mt. Waverly, none of the fore or aftershocks). Quakes also feel considerably stronger if you live on the upper floors in multi-story buildings. But no one down here in LA felt anything like that 7.1 they experienced 160 miles north of us in Trona (which is still out of touch with the outside world, apparently) or 120 miles north of us in Ridgecrest.
So yes, the earthquake was stronger than the Northridge quake at the epicenter, but everyone in LA was much closer to that epicenter. Hence stuff fell down in Los Angeles in 1994, even big stuff like freeway overpasses. Probably little if anything fell down with the city limits this time.
Still, it was fun yesterday watching visiting New Yorkers freak out on social media with tales of terror and jerky videos of sloshing hotel pools. Oh the humanity.