A Fannish Take on the Quake

Emperor Qin's Terra Cotta Warriors

Today’s 5.4 magnitude earthquake in Southern California subjectively felt like the biggest one I’ve experienced since the 1994 Northridge quake, but I really wouldn’t compare the two. Today’s quake rolled the ground like shaking jello. The Northridge quake felt like a giant fist trying to punch through the surface: all the up-and-down slippage helped cause tremendous damage in 1994.

I haven’t seen any e-mail from local fans saying their homes sustained any damage. We had none. Sierra was at school and didn’t even notice it happened, though teachers took everyone outside. 

I have seen two reports about minimal quake-related problems at facilities that are well-known to anyone who’s been to Worldcons in this area.

First, a chef who’s a friend of mine was working inside the Anaheim Convention Center today. He said it “suffered a little bit with a couple of burst water pipes, but not much else as far as I could tell.”

Second, the Los Angeles Times had this report about Los Angeles International Airport:

The quake briefly knocked out the ground radar system at Los Angeles International Airport, but did not affect any flights, LAX officials said. The radar is linked to a safety system that warns air traffic controllers of potential collisions. Nancy Castles, a representative for the airport, said no damage has been found at LAX except for a broken water heater that caused some flooding in the checked baggage area of Terminal 7.

And I can end this story with an exotic touch: The quake struck while 300 people were filing through a Santa Ana museum exhibit of Emperor Qin’s 2,200-year-old Terra Cotta Warriors, among the signature artifacts of ancient China. The 20 large clay figures from China were unharmed, safe in their special mountings designed with earthquakes in mind.

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