I had just gotten back to bed after going to the bathroom. It was warm, and I thought maybe I’d feel better if I cracked the window a bit. The windows in my old apartment are single pane and are rather loose in their tracks. Moments after getting back under the covers, the window started rattling and the bed started shaking. I looked at the clock – 2:40 am.
The rattling went on for maybe 10 or 15 seconds, then faded away. Sleep was out of the question for a while so I flipped open the ipad and went to the USGS web site. There was nothing bigger than a 2.4 anywhere near the Bay Area. The times are always posted by UTC so I spent a few moments trying to figure out the time on the most recent one. Was that 2.4 what I felt? I lay back on the pillow for a moment and then refreshed the page. Now it showed a larger red circle over Berkeley. 4.5 Magnitude 10:39 UTC. So my bedroom clock is a minute fast!
This morning on the news pages it’s a story: Bay Area jolted awake by 4.5 quake!! I don’t know if I would have been ‘jolted’ awake but it sure got my attention.
Well that’s about it. In 1989, after the Loma Prieta quake, the newspapers were full of things like when ‘The Big One’ was going to come. My recollection is that the likelihood was considered very high in the next thirty years. Well, we have two years to go in that window.