I agree with you. I would rather have the small earthquakes than the big one we had in Northridge California on January 17, 1994 at 4:30:55 am. Although it only registered a 6.7, yet that one would be rather small in comparison with a 9.0. We woke up to sounds of glass crashing, but with no power for 48 hours.
Did you ever see the damage done at CSUN, which was near the epicenter?
Many of the buildings at that university had to be rebuilt.
Yes, I saw the 12 story dormitories that were evacuated of people but not personal property and red tagged prohibiting any entrance.
Students had family photos, textbooks, school papers, wardrobe, jewelry, cash, unique documents, term papers, all of it lost.
They stood there like ghosts for several weeks and then wrecking balls knocked them down, with all their contents.
The parking structure at Northridge Fashion Plaza had to be completely redone in the support columns, which are now tall cone shapes.
Many high rise buildings even on Ventura Blvd. had to get their base plates replaced since the original ones cracked with the uplift.
The Northridge quake had the largest uplift component yet of any recorded earthquake, over 1.4 G vertical.
That's like gravity plus 40% more going UP instead of down.
I heard the freeway overpass of the 118 at Gothic Avenue explode before it came crashing down, since I lived about 500 yards away.
Its support columns footed in alluvial riverbed, sank into the ground because of liquefaction, overstressing the overpass, exploding it.
If anyone had been on the freeway they would have seen the road blow up in front of them like a bomb blast.
But somehow there wasn't any traffic just then.
Clarence Wayne Dean wasn't so lucky. He was a motorcycle cop on his way to work when the CA-14 overpass at the I-5 fell down.
He was about 150 feet up going 65 mph on the bridge when the whole bridge roadway dropped down in front of him.
He had nowhere to go but down, and they say he was killed on impact. The bridge was rebuilt and this time, improved.
The new interchange to this day bears his name, the Clarence Wayne Dean Interchange.
A friend of mine was a paleontologist, to whom I described the sound I heard just before the shock wave struck my house.
He said that geologists refer to that groaning noise as "The Voice of God."
The US military sent a Potable Water truck, to park at the shopping center at Zelzah south of Chatsworth, but nobody wanted that water.
Because about 40 yards away was a semi trailer from Arrowhead Water Co. parked on the street with a long line of people holding jugs.
That shiny chrome tanker was probably the best advertising Arrowhead ever did.
Just the LOOK of olive drab vs. shiny chrome made the choice a no-brainer.
To remove all doubt, I went over to the OD truck and got a sample, then spent a few minutes talking to the attendants in GI camo fatigues.
They made no apologies, saying "This water is technically
safe, but if you prefer Arrowhead -- I honestly can't blame you."
Only one local supermarket remained open for business, the Albertsons on Sepulveda north of Devonshire - about at Hiawatha.
That center is now entirely remodeled and the Albertsons - later Ralphs, is gone, replaced with a strip mall.
I watched the reconstruction, and I have my doubts about the new buildings as to their seismic endurability.
The old store must have been built very well, because it only endured minimal structural damage, mostly the roofing.
The walls and roof framing were all in great shape. And that was a huge roof, about 80,000 square feet with no interior shear walls.
Albersons allowed customers to stand outside the entrance doors where they set up a table, with about 4 employees.
You could hand them a list or read it off to them and they would run through the store picking up your items.
They had to go down aisles carefully because of all the broken glass everywhere.
They would total the prices of your items and did not add sales tax for anything, using a battery powered calculator.
And when you gave them a $20 bill for paying $17.76, they counted back the change:
"77, 78, 79, 80, 90, 18, 19, 20."
The manager told me he had to train them how to do that because all his clerks only knew to give change by what's on the register display.
But the register didn't work because the power was out.
They had an emergency generator but were keeping that for the refrigeration only, plus a bare minimum of lighting.
All the other stores didn't bother opening their doors because clerks didn't know how to count out a customer's change.