Jul 29, 2008

Earthquake!*, **, ***

Quite a temblor just passed through... 5.8 magnitude, it's being reported... Made my interview with a Dallas professor kind of strange as I tried to decide whether to hang up or keep on talking (kept on talking)...

Here's the USGS/Caltech map. It was centered 2 miles from Chino Hills and hit at 11:42 a.m. CNN just reported a 3.8-magnitude aftershock.

Also, it looks like the shaking knocked the Los Angeles Times offline (or maybe it was a spike in traffic). Web site is back up as of 11:57 a.m. (see below***)

*USGS has downgraded the temblor to a magnitude 5.4.

**This was the first test drive of Pasadena City Hall's new base-isolator system, installed as part of a $117 million seismic retrofit. Base isolators are little round shock absorbers placed around the base of the building. How'd they perform? Pasadena PIO Ann Erdman reports:

There was a slight jolt, then gentle swaying that gave me a sense of comfort that we were safe. We were evacuated immediately and were allowed back in the building after about an hour (12:45 p.m.). Fire Department had to go through the entire building first to determine that it safe to reoccupy. I took some photos and will post them on my blog in a few minutes.

***Heavy traffic caused the LA Times' Web site to crash, according to the LAT:

The Los Angeles Times' website, latimes.com, was briefly unavailable to many users when heavy traffic swamped its servers immediately after the earthquake. Full access returned in about 10 minutes, according to Meredith Artley, the executive editor of the site. It had about 630,000 page views in the hour after the temblor, roughly double the usual amount.

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