Saturday, November 17, 2007

Quake shakes community


Two earthquakes rattled the Santa Barbara area yesterday, the largest of which was a 3.4 magnitude quake at 6:45 p.m., which was followed 10 minutes later by a 2.6 magnitude aftershock.
Jim Bryden, a fire battalion chief for the city of Santa Barbara, said there were no reports of injuries or damage as a result of the quakes.
“We felt it [at Fire Station No. 1],” Bryden said. “So we followed our procedure for about 15 minutes.”

Bryden said this procedure included checking to make sure all avenues of communication were up and running, then he and his crew pulled all of the fire engines out of the building.
Of the eight city fire stations, Bryden said the shaking was most intense at the Santa Barbara Airport.
Susan Potter, a geophysicist for the United States Geological Survey, said the epicenter for the largest quake was three miles southeast of downtown Santa Barbara and the second was about four miles southwest of Montecito.
She said the larger of the two quakes occurred 6.4 miles beneath the earth’s surface. No information about what fault was responsible for the shaking was available at press time last night.
“You would have felt it indoors,” Potter said. “A rapid vibration with objects swinging.” She said the rumble would have felt similar to a large truck driving by one’s home.
At 7:45 p.m., Potter said 253 people had already logged onto the USGS web site to report the extent to which they felt the brief rumble.
At 10 p.m., 364 people reported feeling the shake, with one as far southwest as Barstow and another as far north as Morro Bay.
The most heavily impacted zip code, according to the USGS web site, was 93117 in Goleta, with 82 people reporting they felt the shaking. In Santa Barbara the most broadly impacted zip code was 93110 with 56 people reporting, followed by 93105 with 54, 93101 with 52 and 93111 with 51. The majority of those reporting characterized the shaking as “light.”
Bryden said during a larger incident, the department has an earthquake policy in place. He said it entails ordering all off-duty first responders to their respective stations, canvassing the city with a grid-like technique and dealing with the damage on a severity basis.
“This never got anywhere close to that,” Bryden said. “It’s anyone’s guess whether the danger is past or forthcoming. We just learn to live with [earthquakes] and if they’re of any significance we go into that earthquake plan.”
For more information or to report what you felt, visit

1 comment:

Deborah Nelson said...

Just wanted to let you know I was at 93018 in Montecito, at Barker Pass Road and Sycamore Canyon, and felt only the first one at about 6:45, and it felt like a truck had driven into the house, not just by the house! It was really strong! I am amazed that you haven't heard any reports from my zip code. 93018!