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My Earthquake Experiences

By David Boszik

I have experienced earthquakes on three occasions, though none of them were of great magnitude.

The first one was while I was at the university in 1985. I had just finished classes for the day and was headed for my car in the parking lot. There are different kinds of quakes. This one presented itself in a wave motion. At first I thought I was dizzy, but I noticed the telephone poles were tilting back and forth. The ground took on a liquid-like motion also. The whole episode lasted less than ten seconds, but it seemed longer.

The second experience was while I was asleep. Well, I was until the earthquake!!! This one felt like some large vehicle struck the front of the house. It was a very strong jolt followed by a shaking-bouncing-like motion. This type of 'quake' I feel is more scary than the wavy kind. For one, you are awakened from your sleep, and everything around you is chattering.

The third occurrence was the 'BIG' quake we had in the San Francisco Bay Area a few years ago. I was shopping at a store approximately 120 miles from San Francisco when I noticed the shelves of the clothing department were shifting to and fro. I began looking around and noticed the hanging sale signs were slowly swinging. I mentioned to the person I was with that it felt like we had an earthquake, nobody in the store but me felt it! A few moments later when I reached the checkout stand, someone from another part of the store said that there had been a large quake in the Bay Area.

Most quakes are never felt, and most of the ones you feel, never amount to much. I can just say that any quake is a very humbling experience indeed.

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