Day after day more people come to L.A.
Shhh! Don’t you tell anybody the whole place slippin’ away!
There she goes!
Where can you go when there’s no San Francisco?
Better get ready to tie up the boat in Idaho.
(Shango, late 1960s)
I grew up in Riverside, California, about 20 miles south of where the San Andreas Fault cuts through San Bernardino. While the rest of the world worried about nuclear annihilation, we California kids had an extra problem: any minute the western side of the state was going to break off and sink into the Pacific!
A school mate of mine was in Anchorage in 1964 during the horrendous 9.2 Alaska quake, but the strongest one I ever felt was centered in Sylmar in 1971 and measured 6.6. We were taught to stand in a doorway during a quake, but I never remembered to do that in time. After the Sylmar quake shook me awake, I lay in bed and watched my window twist in the wall. Californians are tough. Earthquakes? Pah! Now tornadoes—those are scary!
It might seem like the earth is shaking more frequently and more violently these days than it has in the past, but according to the US Geological Survey, things are normal. If you’re fascinated by geologic events, unexceptional or fantastic, APL can sate your curiosity.
Richter's Scale: Measure of an Earthquake, Measure of a Man, Susan Elizabeth Hough.
And have another look at liblairian's post about the volcano in Iceland.