Friday, February 19, 2010

Earthquake Aftermath

Today we wrap up San Francisco Earthquake week with this picture showing the aftermath. One of the things I found interesting about these pictures is how they show that following the disaster people just got up, brushed themselves off, and got back to their business. Some of the pictures were almost surreal, as the people were dressed up, and walking down the street as if things were normal, yet they were surrounded by devastation.

Anyway, I learned a lot this week. Disaster can strike at any moment. Also, from the poll I learned that many people would not be prepared in the case of a disaster. I feel that the most important thing for me to ensure I could care for my family in such a scenario would be to have a nice little tractor. Perhaps I should discuss with Mrs. PJM this evening.


  1. Loved the Generals last week and have been thankful this week for no earthquake. I live in the New Madrid earthquake area. If you are interested there is a good book. The Earthquake that America Forgot. It was worse than SF and Hati quakes. Good thing not many people there but those that were had quite a time. Love your pictures. It first on my list for the day.

  2. I lost power this past weekend, due to the 12 inches of snow in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I had plenty of food but no way to cook or heat it. All though I have a fireplace, I never use it, so I didn't have any firewood. We are so spoiled to the conveniences of modern day life.

  3. The house I live in was built in 1870's. It used to have a veranda but it was damaged in the 1906 earthquake and was removed. You can still see where the veranda was attached. Like many old houses, additions were made as the farmer prospered. It sways mightily but holds on in the bigger earthquakes. It's a unique experience riding out an earthquake on the upper floor of an old house. (In the 1989 earthquake everyone ran outdoors after a few seconds.) I'd be surprised the old redwood girl survived another big one like 1906.
    As a comparison, the 1906 earthquake lasted about 60 seconds. The 1989 earthquake was about 20 seconds. The 1964 Alaska earthquake lasted 4 minutes.

  4. I'll bet you get a load of firewood after this.

  5. Most of the fires that destroyed SF were cause by ruptured gas line that cought on fire.

  6. Actually many, many of the fires were started not by the earthquake, but by the home owners. They had fire insurance, but not earthquake insurance, so they burned their homes to be able to collect the insurance. Unfortunately as people did this, it tended to catch the whole neighborhood on fire, since house were packed tightly.

  7. It's interesting how much these photos remind me of photos of the 1917 Halifax Explosion. That would be an interesting series to do as well.

    Also, my word verification is GROPE. Nice.

  8. Speaking of disasters - how about something on the Boston molasses flood?

  9. Mr. PJM, survival is critical. A tractor is definitely in order!

  10. This week’s photos of the San Francisco earthquake were fascinating, and it makes one realize that this sort of destruction still occurs today, and it could happen at any time. I’m definitely not the “outdoorsy” type and don’t do well without running water, electricity, and air conditioning. But I’m sure I (and most people) would adjust if it meant survival.

    I have a good friend who just happened to arrive in San Francisco on the day of the October 17, 1989 Loma Prieta (“World Series”) earthquake. She and a friend had flown to California that morning on the first leg of what was supposed to be a 10-day trip to Hawaii. They were staying in San Francisco for a couple of nights before flying on to Honolulu.

    After they checked in at their hotel, they took a trolley to the Marina District (where the most damage occurred) to have dinner and do some sightseeing. My friend was standing on a sidewalk when the quake hit. She told me that the ground started rolling and that she had to hold on to a bicycle rack to keep her balance. She said that she remembers looking up at the building she was in front of and that it was swaying back and forth. She told me that she was sure she was going to be killed by falling debris. And that after the quake ended, there was an eerie silence that seemed to last forever, and but then it erupted into chaos - people screaming, sirens, smoke, etc. How frightening.

    They ended up being trapped in San Francisco for days, with no water, electricity, or telephone service. Her parents were frantic because they couldn’t get in touch with her. After a few days, they finally got a flight out and went on to Hawaii. But by that time, she was sick because she had apparently come into contact with tap water from the hotel, which was contaminated.

    So she had to go to a hospital in Hawaii and then she really couldn’t do much of anything after that. So, she just came home early and her roommate wasn’t too happy because she felt fine. I think that was the last trip they took together.

    Although it was an awful experience, now she has a great story to tell.

  11. PJM:

    please remove the comment directly above mine.


  12. PJM - re the debate over a tractor, the bottom line is this- if you want a tractor; you can afford one; and you would enjoy using it, then you should get it.

    It doesn’t matter whether you actually “need” it or not or what anyone else thinks. It’s nobody’s business but your own.

    This is America, and we still have personal freedoms - at least for the time being - so I’d get it while the getting’s good!

  13. PJM,
    After reading オテモヤン's post, he seems to agree that I need to discuss this tractor thing with Mrs. PJM. A tractor will simply not fit in with your plan of wearing a Cap'n Walsh hat unless you plan to use it only to ride around and wave at your neighbors. If you really want to have a garden, get a tiller...I'll send you a hat fit for a farmer.

  14. ThinToWin,
    I did not say I would drive the tractor. A gentleman farmer needs a man-servant to do chores like that.


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