Experience The Upland Earthquake

Sasha wintersteller

A View of Shaking Earth

A View of Shaking Earth

Experience The Upland Earthquake On Top Of Mt. Baldy.

By Sasha Wintersteller

Published: January 4 2016

This is a picture of a fallen boulder on Mt. Baldy Road.

Today, I am interviewing my dad, who I will now refer to as, Peter. Peter was caught in the earthquake called the Upland Quake. The Upland Quake occurred on February 28, 1990 at 3:44 pm. This quake had a magnitude 5.4, and was located 2 miles northwest of Upland, and 30 miles east of Los Angeles. The quake was centered on the San Jose Fault, and it was considerably more damaging than the Upland Quake of 1988. It triggered landslides, which blocked roads in the Mount Baldy area, and it caused some damage to the San Antonio Dam, which lies across the path of the main watershed coming south from Mount Baldy. Thirty-eight people incurred minor injuries, but there were no fatalities. The quake was felt as far northeast, as Las Vegas, Nevada, and as far south as Ensenada, Mexico. After the Upland Earthquake, multiple aftershocks occurred, but tapered off in the two weeks following the earthquake. These aftershocks were 8 kilometers deeper than the actual earthquake, pointing to evidence that the stress on the fault did not completely go away, and is building up again now, and could cause a serious earthquake near Upland California, in the near future.

Peter was photographing a fashion shoot at the top of Thunder Mountain, one of the many peaks at the Mt. Baldy ski resort, when the Upland Earthquake hit. He was standing on a ski slope in the snow, just below the top. It was extremely hard for him to keep his balance, as he was on an incline. He found it fascinating that he could see all the other peaks shaking, and the trees quivering from the impact of the earthquake, all the while creating landslides. He had never been outside during an earthquake, so it was new and unfamiliar, but he described it as powerful. He said that “when you are inside during an earthquake, you experience the sensation of the entire building your in shaking. During this quake, I experienced the entire mountain I was standing on, and all the peaks around me, shaking. Pretty Awesome!”

In Peter’s area, there were many landslides, but since he was practically at the top of the mountain, Peter was not in any sense of peril. He could see no real damage in the area immediately surrounding where the photo shoot was happening. Infact, they decided it was safe enough to continue with the photo shoot. It wasn’t until they finished the shoot, and were driving home, that they encountered a very large boulder, almost as big as a car, that had rolled off of the mountain, on to the road, blocking one whole lane. (see photo)

The biggest thing that you have to worry about, in an earthquake is something falling on you. Since you can never predict when and where, the next earthquake is going to happen, you must always be prepared. You can be prepared by having an escape plan, having a first aid kit, and a provisions kit, as well as being aware of your surroundings. Since there are still some old structures that are not retrofitted to modern earthquake building standards, you will have to be extra careful, when you know that you are in one of these. These old buildings are mainly made from bricks which are strong, but not flexible. You can protect yourself by doing things like crouching under a door jamb, which is very sturdy, and putting your arms over your head and neck to protect that vulnerable area. The main safety trick to know is; “Where is the safest spot to be if you are in an earthquake?”, was Peters advice.

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