Being On The Anchor Desk When The Earthquake Struck - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Being On The Anchor Desk When The Earthquake Struck

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"WHOA!" That was my exact first reaction to the earthquake which was centered in West LA and struck the Fox 11 studios at approximately 6:26 this morning while we were on the air. I wasn't even aware that my co-anchor was holding my arm when it happened. My gaze was focused intensely and with considerable trepidation on the swaying lights immediately above our heads. I went on to proclaim what was obvious to anyone watching that we had just experienced an earthquake. I erroneously called it a "big one," as opposed to the "BIG ONE" many people in Southern California are holding their breath for, because from where we were in the studio, it certainly felt big.

Turns out, thankfully, it wasn't all that big. A 4.4 magnitude earthquake is considered small to moderate. But if it happens to occur almost directly beneath you only five miles below the surface, it feels earth shattering at worst, unnerving at the very least. Every bit as terrifying as the horrible shaking, swaying, rocking and rolling, is the thunderous sound accompanying the temblor's arrival. With a shallow earthquake like this, the potential for damage is much greater and it's felt over a much larger area of land. In this case, people as far as 50 miles from the epicenter felt it. Typically, the deeper the quake, the less the damage. The closer to the surface the quake is, the greater the destruction. This one was only half the depth of the Northridge Earthquake in January, 1994. I remember being at the studio when that one struck at 4:31am. It was a much stronger magnitude 6.7 quake that killed 57 people, injured 5,000 and with $20 billion in property damage, was at the time the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.

Of course, the moral of this story is what it always is. Be prepared. This was NOT the "BIG ONE." Not even close. But as sure as there is night and day, the "BIG ONE" will come. And it is our responsibility to be as ready for it as we can when it does. 

Be sure to check out the attached video of our newscast at the exact time the quake struck.

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