Shake, Rattle and Roll near Alum Rock

October 31, 2007 at 2:10 am | Posted in Bay Area, Big Joe Turner, California, Earthquakes, Natural disasters, Preparedness, Rattle and Roll, San Jose, Shake | Leave a comment

San Jose USGS globe 30 October 2007Glad to hear you are all OK after your latest temblor (we were copied on the emails).

We did look it up on the USGS site here:

Magnitude 5.6 SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA October 31, 2007

Google Earth KMLand have the relevant KML file from Google Earth that links to another file you can download providing real-time data. We can see that you are still experiencing smaller quakes, but hope they won’t disturb your sleep!

More tales welcome.

Google Earth view from Palo Alto to San Jose showing earthquakes at time of writing 31 October 2007


P.S. The kids were kind of disappointed that they missed the biggest earthquake in their lifetimes. After missing the worst floods in Britain and the biggest wildfires in California since they were born, we feel like we are dodging natural disasters by accident—not a bad thing, but not exactly a reliable way to assure your own personal safety!

On the other hand, all our children were born during the warmest decade since records began and you-know-who was born at the height of summer heat in the warmest year to date … and to cap it all, we were staying in central Paris the week elderly were passing out (and away) due to the hottest temperatures in Europe perhaps in the past half millennium!*

In recognition of climate change as an ongoing problem, I tend to think its likelihood and impacts can be dealt with in a similar way to natural hazards (e.g. earthquakes, wildfires) and extreme weather events (e.g. severe floods, heatwaves).  By this, I mean with:

  • actions designed to minimise the likelihood of occurrence (if possible) and adaptations to buildings to limit structural damage
  • plans for meeting places and preparedness kits that are up-to-date, for those times when disasters do strike out-of-the-blue
  • insurance to mitigate financial costs

There are certainly big cultural differences which affect information access and other dependencies in all these cases. There must be ways to pool expertise. For example, after watching scenes of RAF helicopters delivering bottled water to stranded flood victims left without potable water in England this summer, and after hearing that many elderly in Paris were already dehydrated before they were aware of the precautions to take in extreme heat, I think we should all try to maintain the equivalent of an Earthquake Preparedness Kit at home, in schools and at work 😉

* There’s a Royal Society paper (A guide to facts and fictions about climate change) that sums these two points up neatly:

“The IPCC found that, in terms of the global average temperature, the 1990s were very likely (a 90-99% chance) to have been the warmest decade since records began in 1861, and 1998 was the warmest year.”

“In a paper published in Nature in 2004, Stott and others noted that the summer of 2003 was probably the hottest in Europe since at least 1500.”

Now playing: Joe Turner – Shake, Rattle and Roll
via FoxyTunes




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