Earthquake! (UPDATE!)

July 8, 2021

(UPDATE): My earthquake experience yesterday was/is a big deal. There’s a number of news stories about the event, but this video is prime evidence:

(More UPDATE Below)

Along with drought and heat there’s always earthquakes to break the monotony. A few minutes ago, a pretty-heavy shake I could feel, and it lasted a good roll or two — in checking the USG, at first reporting a 4.8 quake centered southwest of Farmington, a small town east of Stockton, a little bit more than an hour north from my location.
However, that seemed to disappear off the USG quake map, and instead showed a 5.9 about the same time in Smith Valley Nevada, nearly four hours northwest from where I sit on my ass — weird.

Worrisome are the aftershocks in the same area of the Smith Valley rocker (5.9 is fairly large), ranging from a 3.7, to a couple of 4.0s — updates will come, and I’ll keep watch on the USG site.
Both of the links above are for the Nevada 5.9, though, the Farmington link had maps and everything — it suddenly just disappeared, and don’t know if I could have felt such a rumble here in California’s Central Valley from that far away. But I’m sure-as-shit no geologist.

Anyway, feeling an earthquake is a peculiar-strange experience, and having lived in quake-prone California for near-40 years, I’ve been through a few shakes in my time, though, way-most were quivers. There’s a few mini-seconds as it starts rocking when you can’t understand a fucking thing, and this afternoon’s version lasted a while in the time-frame of earthquake motions, which are in seconds. After I realized it was a quake, and attempted to make a confused dash outside, it ended. Scary for a tiny toss of time, but great relief when it goes away.
Leroy, my daughter’s elderly Basset Hounnd-Greyhound mix, acted confused and wanted out, too, but once the shaking stopped, he way-quickly calmed down, and was soon back to sleep.

In 2010, I experienced a 6.5 magnitude while living in Humboldt County on California’s North Coast. The quake was the lead of three biggies — the Haiti 7.0 in January 2010, and the 8.8 shaker in Chile the following month. We didn’t experience anything like those other two, but there was damage, structures power lies down. No one seriously injured.
Scared the living shit out of me — it was a Saturday afternoon, freaked the weekend.

Dogs know shit before shit happens — newsroom of the Eureka Times-Standard right before the 2010 6.5 quake:

Nice to have animals…

(Earthquake illustration out front and above by Jakara Art, and found here).


Of the news sources on the episode, this was the best in tying together my own personal view, and was initially posted yesterday evening — from my local newspaper, at Merced Sun-Star, with chief reporting via The Sacramentao Bee, one of California’s better-run, journalism-oriented news outlets — some snips updated to this morning (Friday):

The shaking struck at 3:49 p.m., revised to a magnitude 6.0, and was centered in the Little Antelope Valley about four miles south of Coleville in Mono County, about 150 miles east of Sacramento.
Seismologists dubbed it the Antelope Valley earthquake, during a 5:30 p.m. briefing.

As of 7 a.m. Friday, more than 100 aftershocks have struck, including temblors as strong as 5.2 and 4.6, have shaken the area near the epicenter, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

“It’s a region with known active faults,” USGS researcher Austin Elliott said, referring to the remote area on the back side of the Sierra. “This is a classic place geologists go to study.” There have been about two-dozen earthquakes of this magnitude in the region in the past 50 years; Thursday’s was the largest in the vicinity since a 6.1 quake in 1994.

Dozens of people across California — in Sacramento to as far south as Los Angeles, north to the Oregon border, the Bay Area and beyond — reported feeling the quake to the U.S. Geological Survey. By 7 p.m., over 23,000 self-reported responses were given to the federal agency’s website.

“A M~6 quake is usually felt for more than 100 miles so it is not surprising it was felt in the Central Valley,” wrote seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones in a series of posts on Twitter.

Jones wrote the quake is unlikely to have caused much damage, noting the nearest town, Smith Valley, is 20 miles from the epicenter.

“The M5.9 this afternoon is a classic normal faulting earthquake for eastern California,” Jones wrote. “As is common in this region, there are a lot of aftershocks – 10 above M3 in the first hour.”

And that weird earthquake notice disappearing on the as I noted above in the original post — there’s a reason:

Preliminary reports indicated two earthquakes had struck 25 seconds but 100 miles apart — but the U.S. Geological Survey revised the shaking and removed the report of a magnitude 4.8 quake in in San Joaquin County.

Elliott and other seismologists said the glitch is not uncommon as seismic waves cause reflections as they propagate. One of those reflections just happened to center in the community of Farmington, about five miles southeast of Stockton.

Elliott said the mistake happened because “our instrumentation is sparse (in areas) away from the large population centers,” and once officials reviewed the data, they updated it along with the magnitude of the actual quake.

In the right now (mid-morning Friday), I’ll just keep checking the USG site, which shows an ominous-looking spot east of where I’m located, with a red-dot recent 2.7 aftershock on top of a brown aftershock-pyramid-pile, which itself is situated on top of a giant brown circle that’s the 6.0 orginal shaker.

Another day for The Californians……

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