Surfing The Venice Earthquake In The Quake Pod

23 01 2009
Quake Pod

The Quake Pod

I was sitting in my magic floating office pod when there was a very explosive and intense jolt – I felt a big shock / compression wave burst through the house (and me).  Everything shook and rattled.  It was powerful and incredibly jarring.  Then, for a very short duration – maybe three seconds – there was major shaking; the house and its components made noises that I do not wish to hear again.  I made it out of the pod and up against one of the core beams of the house within that time, and waited a few seconds.  I looked out one of the small windows and the trees and telephone poles were visibly swaying.  There were several more seconds of diminishing wavey motion, underscored by the oddest, deepest, almost-soundless roaring I’ve ever heard.  Like the world’s biggest subwoofer turned way up, but without any actual music.

I stayed where I was for a bit, then checked around the house.  Pictures on the walls are moved, a few things fell over, but there’s no visible damage.

To find out that the quake was a puny 3.4 was also jarring.  A 3.4 felt like that?  I must be a serious rookie.  Virgin in the ways of earth-quaking.  Really new and gone all wimpy-Maine-kid on these nerves-of-steel Californians. But then I found out it was centered about 800 meters from my house.

So I grabbed the camera and zipped down to the epicenter – the end of Venice Boulevard where it meets Pacific Avenue – to see if there was anything up.  Everything looked normal; no sign of damage or anything.  I walked the canal area for a bit; chatted with some people at Canal Club [literally at the epicenter].  Fuck yeah we felt it, the staff said, that was crazy.  I talked with a girl who lives at Venice and Canal Street, and she said it was the biggest one she’d felt in her life, and she thought someone crashed into her house.  Everyone was buzzing about it down there.  This helped me feel a bit less wimpy.

Then I checked the Richter Scale article at Wikipedia and found that the approximate “energy yield” of a 3.5 is 747 gigajoules, or about the same shock wave as detonating 178 tons of TNT.  Put another way, that’s a quarter the yield of a small atomic bomb.

Whoa.

Nearby, Xeni had a similar reaction.

The pod is also where Deanna was sitting when we had the rolly-quake last summer.  She found that to be a unique experience.  So, I’ve redubbed it The Quake Pod, and don’t plan on going back in there tonight.

11 responses to “Surfing The Venice Earthquake In The Quake Pod”
24 01 2009
Josh Morgan (01:06:22) :

Welcome to California my friend. I'll take a 3.4 over a winter in Maine any day. One visit to Fryeburg in January made that point clear to me.

24 01 2009
Michael Fidler (01:14:33) :

I forgot about it, but I was at a neighbors place when it hit, and it felt like it was coming from underneath us. Instead of long waves, These were tight together, and she notices hear lights above her dining room table were not swaying as it normally would. The only thing I could conclude is that it happened nearby, but was small. So where was it centered? Is that your pad? Very nice.

24 01 2009
Anthony Citrano (01:20:05) :

Alright then, guys, I'll just try to get used to it. Gulp.

24 01 2009
Oz (01:34:58) :

It's bizarre that I felt it here in Mar Vista. I felt a jolt, and then the whole place swayed. I ran to the front door ready to evacuate if I had to. It woke me up from my slumber. What's even funny is I thought yesterday while I was a trick's place in Venice. I really hate for a tsunami to happen here. There are so many people in one small area of land. I asked the guy who lived at 15 Paloma Ave if his building was retrofitted for an earthquake. He said yes, this would stand a major earthquake. I don't know but I'm terrified of brick buildings, especially in California.

24 01 2009
Anthony Citrano (03:11:25) :

i have a link up there to the epicenter… yep it was some jolty business. i guess some power lines came down in SM.

24 01 2009
Kristen (14:10:13) :

Scary stuff, A. Glad it was a “small” one and that all are ok.
-K

26 01 2009
On Saverese (18:42:42) :

Amigo–I like the idea of the pod–it looks cool and you get some good work done there I can tell. But it does not look real earthquake–proof. I'm not saying you should go bunker or anything but the whole cantilevered in space design…maybe some mattresses scattered arttfully around beneath it…in the meantime–I'm with Josh Morgan–you're better off there than here.
ciao, DRS

26 01 2009
On Saverese (21:42:42) :

Amigo–I like the idea of the pod–it looks cool and you get some good work done there I can tell. But it does not look real earthquake–proof. I'm not saying you should go bunker or anything but the whole cantilevered in space design…maybe some mattresses scattered arttfully around beneath it…in the meantime–I'm with Josh Morgan–you're better off there than here.
ciao, DRS

27 01 2009
On Saverese (02:42:42) :

Amigo–I like the idea of the pod–it looks cool and you get some good work done there I can tell. But it does not look real earthquake–proof. I'm not saying you should go bunker or anything but the whole cantilevered in space design…maybe some mattresses scattered arttfully around beneath it…in the meantime–I'm with Josh Morgan–you're better off there than here.
ciao, DRS

28 09 2010
Cool Earthquake California images | 7x7 (23:36:55) :

[…] Image by Anthony Citrano James’ Beach restaurant in Venice – *the* epicenter of the shaker we had in Venice, California tonight. I checked out the area and everything was fine – a few things knocked over, but wow, people […]

30 09 2012
james beach earthquake neon Earthquake | Earthquake (14:54:32) :

[…] Image by Anthony Citrano James’ Beach restaurant in Venice – *the* epicenter of the shaker we had in Venice, California tonight. I checked out the area and everything was fine – a few things knocked over, but wow, people […]

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