Earthquake tremor

Mick chick Image
01/27/2012 - 11:24


We have just experienced our longest tremor it lasted at least 10 seconds which doesn't sound long but believe me it seemed to go on forever! The water in the pool is still moving! We live about 20k south of Picenza.

Do you take any precautions after experiencing small earthquakes/tremors?  My family laughs at me when I insist everyone takes a bottle of water and a torch to bed when we are on holiday in our apartment in Italy.  I have experienced two small earthquakes in England, one at night in bed when my wardrobe woke me up squeaking and shifting from side to side.  The second one was years ago at work in an office above a petrol station.  There was a huge bang and I thought a truck had hit something downstairs.  But no.  Definately an earthquake as it was all over the local news and felt as far afield as 200 miles away.  My neighbours in Italy are used to tremors but I've never experienced any whilst there.  We have a modern building which is supposed to be earthquake proof - it has a channel that runs through my bathroom and across the hallway. 

Not really sure what precautians you could take really. Our schools have a 'plan of action' and go through it annually if it happens in school hours, but as they say 'If your times up, your times up!' I have experienced 1 in Greece (1987), 1 in Yorkshire (2002 I think) and numerous in Italy- fortunately none of them were life takers. Just have to hope we never get a serious one. 

I'm in the UK at the moment so don't have my leaflet to hand, but I seem to remember it's important to have shoes by your bed in case of earthquakes at night. More people are injured by running over bits of masonry and broken glass in the panic than you would imagine. Our comune issued us all with a safety leaflet, which I keep meaning to translate into English for visitors to the village but haven't quite got around to it yet. I keep a small bag by the bed with water, torch, whistle, socks and gloves (for protection as much as the cold) and my trainers are next to it. Take care everyone

We have two daughters living in San Francisco and preparedness there is most important. Shops sell special kits with the basics and most people are very much aware of what needs to be done. My daughter's house survive the big 1906 and the Loma Prieta in 1989, so it is obviously very safe... or looks like it. You never know with earthquakes, but then... it is just another risk or peril that we encounter in life. We possibly have more chances of getting run over by a car than having to go through a major earthquake. Still, it is important to know what has to be done. This article from the Los Angeles Fire Department is very useful:

Given how roof tiles are traditionally held in place by nothing but gravity, given how it's traditional at least in this part of Abruzzo to put whacking great boulders on the edge of the roof to keep the tiles in place in strong winds and given how many tiles crashed to the ground during the L'Aquila earthquake, I've given serious thought to the falling hazards we might encounter if we leave the house during a tremor. Al

Makes me think perhaps our tin roof is a safer option than tiles seeing as it is screwed down tight! The last tremors we felt in Emilia Romagna were Christmas 2008. It was our first experience and as Mick chick says, they seemed to go on forever but was probably only about 10 -15 seconds. Let's hope they've settled down again.