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What's the biggest earthquake you've experienced?


What's the biggest earthquake you've experienced?  

2 members have voted

  1. 1. What's the biggest earthquake you've experienced?

    • 8.0+
      0
    • 7.0+
      0
    • 6.0+
      7
    • 5.9 or less
      12
    • My momma after I got mud on the white carpet
      7


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I've never experienced a tectonic earthquake before... despite there being numerous small ones in my state when I was growing up. It's actually something I would like to experience. Obviously, I don't want it to be a big one. I just think it's one of those things that would be interesting to have felt once in one's life.

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i voted 6.0+. though i was about 100 miles south of the epicenter, the nisqually washington 6.8 quake of 2001 shook my house hard enough to make it creak, crack & groan and wake me from a sound sleep. it wasn't my fault. :turtle: :bounce:

 

2001 Nisqually earthquake - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Yeah, I was 30 miles from the epicenter when that one happened.

 

I awoke to my head bumping against the wall. As soon as I was awake, it only took about 5 seconds for it to really start going. I had to hold onto my bed to keep from falling off and I watched my computer desk sliding back and forth while the monitor stayed in the same place. I kept waiting for it to fall. I could see the 2x4 boards in the floor jumping up through the carpet in my third story apartment. By the time everything stopped, the walls were swaying back and forth for several minutes afterwards as I lay on my bed with my mattress in a clutch of death.

 

My first thought was that Mt. Ranier had blown its lid, but looking in that direction, I didn't see any smoke. I went into the hallway and every picture was laying on the ground. In the kitchen, the stove had moved all they way out and the only thing that kept it from wandering further was the length of the power cord which acted as a tether. In town, the chandelier in the capital building fell down and shattered glass everywhere. Amazingly, nobody was hurt at all. Roads around town looked like something out of a movie, with jagged edges jutting out of the once planar surface. Large pieces of concrete were strewn throughout the streets. Some had landed on parked cars and others had destroyed entire businesses.

 

All phone services were shut down for the entire day. My family had no idea if I was safe or not until I could call them the next day. Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera, but there are a lot of photos online.

 

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Growing up in Mountain View, CA, I experienced many earthquakes. Most of them I never noticed. There may have been a dozen or so in the 5's over the years, and if I was awake I felt them.

 

Two in particular that I remember happened around 1980. One was while in school. Earthquake hit while I was in math class. After about ten seconds of a rolling feeling we realized it was an earthquake and we got under out desks. When it got still the alarm went off and we all marched out to the soccer fields. The flagpoles were still swaying. Eventually we went back inside and finished the day. There was an aftershock that same day which we felt, but it was after school.

 

During that summer I was riding in the back of a car with four other kids. There were two more in the front. Paul Bassett's mom was driving us to a day at the water slides for Paul's birthday. It was a brand new car. Out of no place Paul's mom starts yelling at us to stop bouncing around. She was like a crazy lady. I remember me and my buddies just looking at each other because we were not doing anything. When we got to the water slides they were shut down. Turns out there had just been an earthquake and they had to check all the pipes and foundations before they could restart the slides. So Mrs. Bassett was blaming me and my buddies for what was actually an earthquake.

 

And those are my two earthquake stories.

 

Bill

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i voted 6.0+. though i was about 100 miles south of the epicenter, the nisqually washington 6.8 quake of 2001 shook my house hard enough to make it creak, crack & groan and wake me from a sound sleep. it wasn't my fault. :turtle: :coffee_n_pc:

 

2001 Nisqually earthquake - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

I was 60 miles South of that one. I was at work. Suddenly it sounded like a group of people where running down the hall of the floor above me. I was like, "what The Heck?" for a few seconds before I realized that it was an Earthquake. I got under cover and when it was over, we all filed out.

 

After a while, we checked the building for damage. We found outside wall in which an existing crack had looked like it had widened. We decided to keep people out of that part of the building until we could get an engineer to look at it.

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Luckily for us here in Australia Earthquakes are not something we have to worry about. We sit pretty much in the middle of the huge plaque Australienne, making it pretty hard to rock our overlage boat. That said I have felt a couple of smaller quakes over the years - mostly due to under ocean volcanic activity (which is also very rare..). The strongest one that I remember was strong enough to fell while we where driving in the car, I think it measured less than a 3 on the scale though :D

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It was the spring semester at the Univerity of Alabama, 1969. YES, I said, Alabama.

It was a Saturday morning and I was sleeping in.

I woke up with a start, knowing there was someone in the room and they had moved my bed an inch or two.

I looked around. I sat up. Nobody in my room. The door was shut.

I looked out the window. Beautiful sunny day with no wind.

But the phone lines were swinging back and forth in a rather extreme way.

 

That evening, the TV news announced we had had a REAL earthquake. About a 3.

Nobody reported any breakage.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Nothing much, we don't have a lot, mostly they are across the ditch.

 

I slept though the Newcastle Earthquake of 1975??. My wife jumped up to see the cat howling and sliding around in the bath. The cat never went near the bathroom so maybe she had a bit of precognition.

 

My wife tells the story of standing at the gassy verge of a beach in Rabaul NG, Suddenly without warning or sound all the sand on the beach disappeared. The neighboring volcano was restless.

 

It must be terrifying and life changing being in a big quake-- something that you live with until you die.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I have felt several of them, here at the feet of the Eastern Alps.

 

The biggest I felt was the one in Friuli in 1976, getting on for 7 Richter, I was just west of Verona but despite the distance it was an impressive experience. When doors and windows were rattling away I guessed what it was and figured I should just get outside so I scuttled out of the house. I felt the strongest aftershocks later that year.

 

My most recent experience was about a year and a half ago, there was a fairly moderate quake some 2 or 3 hundred km away. I was at work, in a very sturdy reinforced concrete building and I could tell it was coming from afar, I did not worry for a second. When the more jerky motion came, a colleague thought it was me, mischeifously shaking the table, in a bad mood or something. He kinda gaped at me, half amused and half stern, saying "hey hey hey!" and I ignored his scolding and just said "It's coming from far away, we're not at the epicentre." so he gathered what I meant and went got to his work. Meanwhile I saw a young woman from a nearby section reaching the aisle and anxiously starting one way and the other, unsure where to go; I called out what I had just said again, loud enough for her, very calm and unconcerned, and she just went back to her seat.

 

An amusing one was back when I was a penniless student, a quite modest tremor that was felt across this region here. I was at a car parts retailer, all concerned about getting my car fixed at the least possible cost, after talking to a clerk at the counter I had reached the exit but remembered something else so I whirled around to go back. I noticed feeling wierd, I thought I was just tired and dizzy and it just added to my anxieties. As I was talking to the clerk again, she asked me if I really couldn't "feel it" and I had no idea what she was on about, so she pointed out that everything was shaking; it just annoyed me, like: Why does she have to bug me with this silly crap! She's supposed to be doing her job! My memories are now vague but I think I still hadn't gathered what happened even when I left the place. When I heard there had been a quake :doh: oh, so that's what the woman was yappin' about! :shrug:

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  • 1 month later...

I rushed back to this old thread eager to see if I could up my personal biggest earthquake experience poll submission, only to see that I’m still in the “5.9 or less” tier. :ideamaybenot:

 

Anyway, following the record-breaking on at 5:04 AM EST centered in Washington, DC suburb Gaithersburg, MD, about a dozen miles from me, I’m now up to 3.6 on the richter scale. Unlike the 2.0 earlier this century which, like most people, I complete failed to notice, this one woke me from a sound sleep and sent me scurrying to my basement thinking that my furnace or water-heater had exploded. I then decided it must have been a dream – in part because I expected my 3 cats would have reacted to a real event, but were sleeping at the time as peacefully as cats do – went back to bed/sleep, only to hear the news when I got up and out a few hours later.

 

Local officials are scrambling about to find something damaged – a broken window, a cracked wall, anything to commemorate the biggest quake in the area since the beginning of scientific recording – but so far seem to be coming up empty-handed.

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I rushed back to this old thread eager to see if I could up my personal biggest earthquake experience poll submission, only to see that I’m still in the “5.9 or less” tier. :sherlock:

 

Anyway, following the record-breaking on at 5:04 AM EST centered in Washington, DC suburb Gaithersburg, MD, about a dozen miles from me, I’m now up to 3.6 on the richter scale. Unlike the 2.0 earlier this century which, like most people, I complete failed to notice, this one woke me from a sound sleep and sent me scurrying to my basement thinking that my furnace or water-heater had exploded. I then decided it must have been a dream – in part because I expected my 3 cats would have reacted to a real event, but were sleeping at the time as peacefully as cats do – went back to bed/sleep, only to hear the news when I got up and out a few hours later.

 

Local officials are scrambling about to find something damaged – a broken window, a cracked wall, anything to commemorate the biggest quake in the area since the beginning of scientific recording – but so far seem to be coming up empty-handed.

 

I almost wish I was home to have experienced this...

Most of my friends said they slept through it, but knowing me I would have been awake. It could have been a cool experience.

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It could have been a cool experience.
Yes, when it doesn't knock your house down it's a cool enough experience; it makes you stop and think. Afterwards any vibration in the floor or sensation of tremor really puts you on the alert.
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