Aidan Times

Witter earthquake

By: Aidan Hedman

“It felt as if we were on a boat and a black sea was rocking us.” A telling interview with my father, Sean Hedman. Sean Hedman had experienced the Whittier earthquake on October 1st, 1987. He lived in Rosemead, California when this disaster happened. It was a 5.9 magnitude earthquake and lasted for twenty seconds. The total cost of the damage of the earthquake was 358 million dollars. The earthquake killed 57 people and injured 8,700 people.

It was a clear Thursday morning and Sean was on his way to school with his friends Matt and Henry. They went to school in Henry’s car and at 7:45am, the terrible earthquake hit. Henry stopped at a red light and they waited for the light to turn green. All of a sudden, Sean noticed the street lights moving and soon felt and the massive earthquake. He looked out the window and saw the ground rippling and waving. He said it was as if he was on a boat out at sea and the road, made of concrete and asphalt, looked like a black wavy sea.

The earthquake soon stopped but seemed like a minute for Sean and his friends. They headed to school to soon discover the school was in lockdown. They returned back home to find out everything was untouched. Sean called his mother to tell her that he was safe at home. There was no damage from the earthquake but in Whittier, where the earthquake was centered, was complete destruction. Brick buildings fell, apartments split apart, and people died. It was a disaster.

Sean recommended that people everywhere should at least have a first aid kit with bottled water and spare clothes. Because of the Whittier earthquake, new building rules were made to reinforce mason/brick buildings to give more support and prevent buildings falling which were the main cause of the deaths in Whittier, California. These building have special bolts that help strengthen buildings in Whittier because of the earthquake. If these new building rules were in place, less people would have died.

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