Ok, here's my lengthy earthquake story...
sorry for the formatting - i cut/pasted from another place and btw, Kathryn is my girlfriend.
I was in the computer lab I work in at Building 25 on the Microsoft redmond
campus. The lab is on the 3rd floor of the 3 story building. I was typing some stuff
when there was a bit of a shake, and I thought someone was stomping around or
moving a shelf or something. About 3 seconds later there was another little
shake. At that point I was a little annoyed at whoever was making all the racket.
Then a couple seconds later the whole building started shaking and I turned to my
co-worker who works next to me and he looked at me and I said.."It's an
At that point almost everyone in the lab was hurrying outside of the building or
standing in the doorways. Now, I know they a lot of people say to stand in a
doorway because it is reinforced, but that's a bit of a misonception. I've heard
earthquake survival specialists say that's not always your best option because
the door could swing closed really hard and whack you a good one, but I digress.
Anyway, I grabbed my cell phone out of my jacket and headed outside. I looked
back into the lab and saw several computers falling off of the shelves they are
on. It was a bit scary, but not a whole lot. I did, however, think briefly that
this just might be the big one because it did seem to last for a very long time.
They said it was less than 30 sec. with the 6.8 shaking only lasting 17, but in a
crisis when your brain goes into hyper mode that's a very long time.
I and a lot of other people were heading outside when the rumbling stopped. At
that point, I, like everyone else in the whole region, was trying to make a phone
call and I couldn't get through to anybody. I was mostly trying to call Kathryn
because she was home and her apt. is at the market 3 stories up and all of
downtown seattle up to like 3rd avenue is built on sand. Theres no bedrock under
I called Kathryn's parents in chicago and managed to get ahold of them. They
had already heard from Kathryn and said she was all right and they said they would
call her and let her know I was ok. A couple hours later I was finally able to
call Kathryn and they sent me home at that point because several of the
computers that had fallen off the racks were servers and they had to rebuild a lot of
the computer racks and put stuff back together and since I'm hourly and not
salary, I was sent home.
I got to Kathryn's place and she had a lot of stuff that fell off of shelves,
she had two small candelabras that bounced off the table they were on and "flew"
across the room. There was also a very large mirror she owns that slid off a
large cabinet it was on and hit her table, which she was under, and almost took the
top of the table off. The mirror, miraculously, did not break. She also had some
glass and plastic bowls stacked up on one small shelf and they flew off the
shelf and skidded across the kitchen. One of the plastic bowls broke, but none of
the glass ones did, a bit strange that. She also had some pictures and some cd's
that fell down and the glass in a couple of the picture frames broke. She was
really scared, but she came out of it without injury and we were both happy that
we were both safe and ok.
The funny part about Kathryn's experience was that as soon as it started she
recognized it for what it was, grabbed her phone and headed under the table. She
sped-dialed my number as she was doing that and couldn't get through to me. She
got to the table and as she climbed under it, she dialed her parent's number and
they answered the phone. She shouted to them "I'm in an earthquake and it's
happening right now!! It's still happening...I'ts happening right now!!" It's kinda
funny looking back on it, but I can't imagine what her mom was thinking with her
daughter calling not after, but DURING the earthquake.