Don’t Let the Media Freak You Out

Open source image of Borrego Springs, CA
United States
June 10, 2016 6:34pm CST
At about 1:00 o’clock this morning there was a 5.2 earthquake in Borrego Springs, California. The media headlines read “Earthquake Rocks Southern California” and “Quake Felt from San Diego to Los Angeles. Well, they are exaggerating. I live about 100 miles from the epicenter of the quake. It would be a three hour drive. That’s far closer than either San Diego or Los Angeles, and I slept through it. I’m a light sleeper, but nothing registered on my Fitbit, not even a “restless” episode. A 5.2 quake is considered moderate. It shakes the ground, and if you are very close, it’s like being in a carnival fun house. But there is usually no damage at all, and there was none reported with this quake. California has stiff building standards to help reduce damage from large quakes. But this one was not large. It wasn’t even unusual. The San Jacinto Fault where the quake originated is fairly active. People there are used to a little shaking every once in a while. There was no damage, and no rattled nerves. If you read reports online or heard the reporters on the news, you would have had a different impression. This is why people who do not live in California often freak out at the very mention of earthquakes. The media likes to be dramatic. But natives listen for the magnitude, depth and location before we react. This one was a yawner. Have you ever experienced an earthquake? How big and was it shallow (lots of shaking) or deep (not much shaking)?
24 people like this
23 responses
@JohnRoberts (52282)
• Los Angeles, California
11 Jun 16
There was a quake? I live in the SF Valley and felt nothing.
5 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 16
I'm in south Orange County. I felt nothing too, slept through it. It was in Borrego Springs, way east of Temecula.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Jun 16
I suppose it was not magnanimous enough to feel everywhere
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jun 16
@ElizabethWallace okay you felt nothing the night it happened but I wonder did you and your family go out exploring around your neighborhood or even further looking for damage ?
1 person likes this
@responsiveme (14478)
• India
11 Jun 16
Glad it wasn't a bad earthquake . We experience earthquake activity here. Usually I don't bother to run out and things get OK soon. There was a bad one a couple of months ago.Lots of shaking . What was scary is that we were on the 5th floor and there was nothing we could do. You tend to forget all the tips . I clutched my mobile and a bottle of water . I understand about the media part. Then all friends and family keep ringing up to know how you are . We do the same . And a couple of weeks later the district management holds a 'disaster management' programme....
5 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 16
It is good to be prepared. I was once in a condo I owned on the seventh floor of a condo tower. The building rocked from one side to the other. When it finished it's arc in one direction, it swung back in the other direction. The sound it made when it was at the peak of the arc was frightening. You didn't know if it would recover, or tip over. But California buildings are constructed with earth movement in mind. We were fine. I had to laugh at the two men next door to me. They were screaming like little girls.
3 people like this
• India
11 Jun 16
@ElizabethWallace That sounds really scary. You see I don't think the buildings here are really earthquake resistant. The houses here were originally designed to suit the geography of the place, but now everybody builds concrete structures.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 16
@responsiveme Concrete structures with rebar (steel poles) inside are very strong, but without it, they cause lots of damage and are dangerous in earthquakes.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jun 16
Well if it was not for myLOT I would of never heard about this and I do thank you for the truth . . .
4 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 16
it was all over the news, even national news. So blown out of proportion.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 16
@ElizabethWallace the news is NOT one of my favorite things to watch as it is mostly depressing and like you said 'blown out of proportion' . . . but I thank you anyway
2 people like this
• United States
12 Jun 16
@enlightenedpsych2 What do you watch instead? I like hour long dramas that require the viewer to use his/her brain.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (100138)
• United States
10 Jun 16
Mild earthquake activity has been reported in our area, suburban Chicago, a few times, but only a few commented on some rattling of things in the home. I noticed nothing.
4 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 16
Do you have building codes like ours which protect you in case of an earthquake?
3 people like this
@Corbin5 (100138)
• United States
11 Jun 16
@ElizabethWallace Had to research this a bit. We live in Illinois. Illinois and Missouri have no statewide mandatory code in place, although some local jurisdictions such as Chicago and St. Louis have adopted and enforce citywide building codes. The seismic provisions of these local codes vary, along with the requirements for mandatory enforcement.
3 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 16
@Corbin5 Oh, no! Your state legislators will certainly have egg on their faces when you are hit with a decent sized earthquake. We have codes that are at all levels of government. The statewide codes hit statewide disasters like earthquakes. Local municipalities handle fire prevention and flooding, since those are more local.
3 people like this
@Dena91 (4185)
• United States
11 Jun 16
I have a dear friend who lives about 30 miles from the epicenter and she said it wasn't too scary for her. When we visited my grand mom for a summer, I noticed her chandelier swaying and asked her why it was doing that. She calmly said there was an earthquake. Since she was so laid back about it, my brother and I stayed calm as well. And the media would have a hard time freaking me out as maybe on a busy week, I may have a news channel on for about 5 minutes. They all make me sick with their twisting of the news and shoving their agenda at me 24/7. Unless there is a massive something happening, we keep it off in our home. And should we have to have it on, we're very careful to believe very little of what they say. Don Henley was way ahead of the times back in the mid 1980's when he released my favorite solo song by him, Dirty Laundry. That song is spot on. Have a blessed day
4 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 16
Isn't it sad that the entertainment department is now in charge of the news?
3 people like this
@paigea (21755)
• Canada
10 Jun 16
That is good to know to keep these reports in perspective. I have never experienced even the slightest tremor.
4 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 16
Earthquakes happen everywhere, but some are so minor, no one feels them. Even this one was not felt very far away.
2 people like this
@DeborahDiane (20113)
• Laguna Woods, California
12 Jun 16
I agree with you completely. I have some friends who live in a three story building who felt a small amount of gentle swaying, but that was about it. No big deal!
3 people like this
• United States
14 Jun 16
If I sleep through something, like I did, then it must have been small or very far away.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
14 Jun 16
@ElizabethWallace - I agree! Any earthquake that I can sleep through is not worth worrying about!
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jun 16
@DeborahDiane We need to make our own Richter Scale/Snooze Scale.
1 person likes this
@miniam (9244)
• Bern, Switzerland
11 Jun 16
I have never experienced any earthquake,only watched the reactions onTV.
3 people like this
• United States
14 Jun 16
The majority of them are small, happen all the time, and are not shown on TV. They show only the horrible ones, where people have not built strong buildings. This give people a false view of them, and leads to fear. It is best to be prepare for the worst, and then put them out of your mind.
1 person likes this
@miniam (9244)
• Bern, Switzerland
14 Jun 16
@ElizabethWallace Just glad l have never experienced a strong earthquake
2 people like this
• United States
15 Jun 16
@miniam I rode one of them in a highrise. It was the only scary one I have experienced. It all depends upon the building you are in when it happens. A low rise would not have been frightening.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (118965)
• Bunbury, Australia
11 Jun 16
Certainly the media likes to make a big fuss about next to nothing. I would have been worried for people if I had read that headline.
3 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 16
Don't believe much of what you read. Their voices when they describe events must be learned in drama camp. Their tone certainly isn't appropriate.
1 person likes this
@paigea (21755)
• Canada
11 Jun 16
@ElizabethWallace One problem with sensationalizing every day things like for instance here, a snow storm, is it means we start to ignore warnings.
4 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 16
@paigea This is the case with all of their hyperbole and not just weather.
3 people like this
@gr8nana6 (2207)
• United States
11 Jun 16
I never have experienced a quake and hope I never do. You know that the media always makes a mountain out of a molehill.
3 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
12 Jun 16
Actually, we get approximately 100 of them a week in Southern California, but most of them are so week that people don't feel them. I have felt dozens, but rarely have they done any damage. Sometimes, the only way I know we have had one is because a door will slam shut or our chandelier will start swings. 99% of the time, they are no big deal.
2 people like this
• United States
14 Jun 16
@DeborahDiane The swinging lamp or cord hanging from the ceiling fan are good indicators too.
1 person likes this
@BettyB (4221)
• Summerville, South Carolina
11 Jun 16
We've never had to deal with a major earthquake. We're on a fault like and get small ones every now and then. They're talked about a lot but that's because they don't happen often.
3 people like this
• United States
14 Jun 16
@MGjhaud @BettyB Any fault can cause a big earthquake, best to have supplies ready and keep heavy objects on lower shelves. Also attach tall furniture to the studs inside the walls with L-brackets.
1 person likes this
@marlina (71305)
• Canada
11 Jun 16
I did experience a few very minor earthquakes in my life and didn't like it one bit.
3 people like this
• United States
14 Jun 16
As long as they are small, and nothing is damaged, no one here minds them very much. But people who moved here from somewhere else and have not experienced them from childhood feels much differently. The wind causes more damage here on a regular basis.
1 person likes this
@Rollo1 (16650)
• Boston, Massachusetts
11 Jun 16
We had three earthquakes last week, I don't think anyone felt any of them, they were very low magnitude. I have felt only two earthquakes in my life, one of which had an epicenter in Quebec, and the other was closer, but I forget where. Neither was damaging, just shaking.
3 people like this
• United States
14 Jun 16
My daughter moved from California where she was born and raised to Oklahoma. Now they have more earthquakes than we do. Tornados, ice storms, snow, excessive heat and earthquakes, that's Ok, but isn't.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
11 Jun 16
I experienced many little ones when I lived in the OC. I recall one day I was in the old county courthouse there when there was a pretty good one. There must have been about twenty little ones that day and evening.
3 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 16
Little ones are interesting. Moderate ones are a reminder to check our earthquake kits.
2 people like this
@Susan2015 (20184)
• United States
10 Jun 16
We were trying to hear about it on the TV. But they are only talking mostly about the same stuff as usual. Glad it wasn't a bad earthquake.
3 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 16
Nope. If there is a really big one, there will be nothing else on the news, but earthquake coverage. You will be as sick of it as we are of the flooding in the midwest and east.
1 person likes this
@MGjhaud (20749)
• Philippines
11 Jun 16
yes, many times but nothing serious. im glad it was not bad when it happened there.
3 people like this
@valmnz (12635)
• New Zealand
11 Jun 16
For a change this one didn't hit the news in New Zealand. we are very used to strong earthquakes here. The amount of damage etc depends very much on its depth. We have regular earthquakes, thank heavens, as no one wants a repeat of the one that caused so much damage in Christchurch about 5 years ago.But even 5.2 close by can be enough to cause concern here.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (53403)
• United Kingdom
11 Jun 16
I've never been anywhere near an earthquake. I suppose the media likes to dramatise, especially if there's no 'real' news for them to report. Interesting that you say it would take tou 3 hours to drive that 100 miles. Is it very built up? I would expect to do that in about 2 hours.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
12 Jun 16
It is about 100 miles "as the crow flies", but the road is very winding. It is a state park in the desert and it takes quite a while to get there.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (53403)
• United Kingdom
12 Jun 16
@DeborahDiane Thanks for explaining, Deborah. I hadn't thought about it being as the crow flies, it would be considerably more miles to actually drive.
2 people like this
• United States
14 Jun 16
@jaboUK I didn't figure in "pit stops" with the distance either. LOL
2 people like this
@pgntwo (21551)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
11 Jun 16
Much ado about nothing. But they have a living to earn, however they choose to earn it. I remember being awoken in the wee small hours once, as a child, and bundled up to the local church with all the other scared people wondering what to do... I think the epicentre was closer to Greece than to us, but it was a novel event for many. And a panic-ridden one for others, houses in the area were made from sandstone, predominantly.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jun 16
Yes, it is the buildings and bridges that cause the damage, if they were not constructed for earthquakes.
1 person likes this
@pgntwo (21551)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
14 Jun 16
@ElizabethWallace I imagine sandstone anything would crumble and fall in a proper quake, rather than the tremors we were experiencing.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jun 16
@pgntwo Sandstone, probably, but not everything. Building codes create earthquake safe buildings, even tall ones. Of course, if it hits 9, like the one a few years ago in Japan, then not much would stand. But most buildings where I live survive in fairly large quakes. Only some of the older ones have damage.
1 person likes this
@andriaperry (46549)
• United States
11 Jun 16
No I haven`t but I am living near a fault line, some have felt tremors but I think it was all in their head
1 person likes this