Whole Lotta Shakin'

Voice Card  -  Volume 10  -  Larry Card Number 6  -  Sat, Oct 21, 1989 11:47 PM

I guess all but those who don't watch TV, listen to the radio, read newspapers or magazines, or talk to other people have heard about the Great Quake of '89 as they're calling it here (and perhaps elsewhere).

It was, to say the least, an experience. The most fortunate part for Diane and me was the fact that we were home together at the time the quake struck--not a normal occurence for that time Tuesday evening. Diane is normally in class at San Jose State, but her class was called off that day. I would normally be on the freeway at that time (a freeway that wound up being closed due to structural damage), but on that day, I decided to leave work about 20 minutes early. The worst experience for all of our friends was not knowing where their spouses or kids or other family members were after the quake. We're very thankful that we didn't have to go through that.

When the quake first hit, we looked at one another and thought "Here's another tremor." But, it didn't stop, and kept becoming more and more intense. We sat in the living room not moving and watching the TV slowing bounce across its stand. Finally, I got up and grabbed the TV before it fell to the floor. When it was over, our power was out, and we started to assess what damage we had. We walked upstairs into one of the bedrooms and an aftershock hit-- just the first of about 25-30 noticeable shocks that would occur in the next few hours (we have experienced well over 3,000 aftershocks in the four days since the quake, according to news reports). These shocks measured up to 5.3 on the Richter Scale.

We had very little physical damage relative to the devastation that surrounds us. Our power was off for about 5 minutes, two doll cases were broken, one Japanese clay doll lost its hand, and five elephants (ceramic) from Diane's collection were destroyed. We feel very lucky.

Hopefully, it will be a long time before anything like this happens again.