Temblor sparks memories of the big one 100 years ago
■ By Chris Smith / Advisory Editor
A magnitude 3.4 earthquake struck just outside Hemet last Sunday morning, Feb. 10, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the temblor hit at 9:12 a.m. and was centered about 8.7 miles east-southeast of Hemet and some 4.3 miles southeast of Valle Vista. The depth of the earthquake was estimated at 9.9 miles, according to USGS.
Several people, including social media users in Perris, Menifee, Corona and Ontario, reported feeling the shaking, which came in two bursts, first a smaller movement, then a rolling more sustained tremor.
More than 600 people reported to earthquaketrack.com that they felt the quake.
“I am in Hemet and it was a little jolt. I heard it more than felt it. It sounded like someone fell or a car crashed,” said one online commenter.
Rocking and rolling
“I live in a mobile home, and I was just hoping that everything stayed in place on the supporting jacks,” said a Hemet resident on the west side of town. “Fortunately, nothing seems to have been damaged, but the place was rocking and rolling for a minute or so. It made for an interesting morning on a normally quiet Sunday.”
A couple of Moreno Valley and Menifee residents described it as a “big jolt.”
The quake originally was reported as 3.6 magnitude but was revised downward. No injuries or damages were reported.
The region is crisscrossed by a series of faults, and small earthquakes are occurring on a daily basis. As of press time Wednesday, some 86 earthquakes had occurred during the past 30 days and 1,122 earthquakes in the past 365 days. It usually takes a magnitude 3 or higher to be felt.
Great San Jacinto quake
A 6.7 magnitude quake dubbed the San Jacinto earthquake destroyed much of downtown San Jacinto and severely damaged downtown Hemet some 100 years ago on April 21, 1918, when part of the San Jacinto fault zone slipped. That quake hit also on a Sunday but at in the afternoon at 2:32 p.m. Several injuries and one death occurred with total losses estimated at $200,000. Injuries were limited because, on Sunday, most of the businesses were closed, and few citizens were out in the commercial districts.
California, always prone to earthquakes, is poised to have a major quake along the San Andreas fault, and experts caution citizens to be prepared.
Jeff Rossen, an NBC News national correspondent and the author of the survival (and fraud-fighting) book, Rossen to the Rescue, compiled a list of items people should have in their emergency “go bags.” He lists them in a 2017 article on the AARP website, aarp.org. They include the following:
Pack an extra phone charger in case you’re fortunate enough to have electricity, and a portable battery pack in case you’re not. Also stash a long-lasting LED flashlight. Pack a small hand-cranked or battery-operated AM/FM radio (with extra batteries).
While getting ready for a typical day, list every toiletry you use, then buy a travel-size version of each. Pack backup eyeglasses, as well as a first-aid kit, baby wipes and a multipurpose tool with a knife and can opener.
Pack a few days’ worth. Include layers you can add or remove, plus lightweight rain gear and waterproof boots.
Pack about three days’ worth of each of your prescriptions, which should last until you can get to a pharmacy that’s open. If you need larger items, such as an oxygen tank, make sure you have a portable version.
The perfect bag
Think small and portable. A backpack is ideal, but a lightweight suitcase with wheels will also do. Just remember, you may literally be running with it.
Fill a zip-top waterproof bag with photocopies of your birth certificate; driver’s license; Social Security and Medicare cards; power of attorney and will; any marriage, adoption or naturalization certificates; proof of address; insurance, medical and immunization records; and information about your credit and ATM cards.
Food and drink
Bottled water is essential. Granola or energy bars are great because they are small and filling, and they come in a variety of flavors.
In addition to enough money for a few days, include small bills and a roll of quarters. If you need to buy something out of a vending machine, you don’t want to start asking equally desperate strangers for change.