This is an actual transcript of a conversation I was holding at the time of the Hector earthquake (October 16, 1999). My friend John lives just north of New York City. A map of the Hector area appears after the log.
John 10/16/19 2:13 AM Jeez! You gotta get out more. Emperor 10/16/19 2:42 AM I know. But Lynn comes home tired and I've got to cook her dinner. John 10/16/19 2:43 AM not now? Emperor 10/16/19 2:43 AM Oh no. But where am I to go at 2:43 in the morning? John 10/16/19 2:43 AM Out for a walk? Emperor 10/16/19 2:44 AM Yeah and have to deal with cops wanting to know what I am doing. John 10/16/19 2:44 AM You like astronomy? Emperor 10/16/19 2:44 AM I live at the edge of the LA Basin, remember? John 10/16/19 2:45 AM None of their [expletive deleted] business! Do you have a pair of field glases? John 10/16/19 2:45 AM So what does that mean? Emperor 10/16/19 2:45 AM Down in the car. What I really want to do is get drunk. But I am not supposed to drink. Emperor 10/16/19 2:46 AM SMOG John 10/16/19 2:46 AM Bad Idea! Take it from me. Been there done that Emperor 10/16/19 2:47 AM Yeah. I know. I said I wanted to beat myself up, not kill myself. Emperor 10/16/19 2:47 AM EARTHQUAKE! John 10/16/19 2:47 AM Yuck! THAT SUCKS. I have 21/4 refractor telescope Emperor 10/16/19 2:48 AM There's been a big one somewhere. Holy [expletive deleted]! John 10/16/19 2:48 AM I some time during the late fall and winter study Orion. John 10/16/19 2:49 AM NOW! Emperor 10/16/19 2:49 AM I SAID JOHN WE HAD A [expletive deleted] EARTHQUAKE!! IT SHOOK THE [expletive deleted] CONDO! John 10/16/19 2:49 AM How BAD! John 10/16/19 2:49 AM GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! NOW! Emperor 10/16/19 2:52 AM We just went out. Checked the house. Couple of neighbors woke up. (You don't run out of the house. You jump under the desk.) Emperor 10/16/19 2:52 AM I am guessing someone got rocked with a six somewhere within thirty miles of here. John 10/16/19 2:52 AM Better and safer to get out of the house John 10/16/19 2:53 AM You know better then me! Emperor 10/16/19 2:53 AM No, because if the roof tiles fall, you could be a goner. They say stay inside and stay under a table or a desk or a door. Emperor 10/16/19 2:54 AM Hey, they teach us the drill in public schools! John 10/16/19 2:54 AM Yeah I know what they say. I say get the [expletive deleted] away from all structures period! Emperor 10/16/19 2:54 AM Unless you are in one, then you go for the door or a desk or a table. If the roof caves in, you have something on top of you. John 10/16/19 2:55 AM YEAH THE ROOF :) Emperor 10/16/19 2:56 AM Roofs tend to slide off....especially when you've got Spanish tile. Emperor 10/16/19 2:57 AM I am going to see if it registered yet on my World Earthquake chart. John 10/16/19 2:57 AM I don't like the word tends John 10/16/19 2:58 AM ok Emperor 10/16/19 2:58 AM I was wondering why our cats were acting a little odd tonight. John 10/16/19 2:59 AM That a tipoff right there! Emperor 10/16/19 3:00 AM Check that URL. There was ANOTHER ONE! Emperor 10/16/19 3:01 AM I think we're getting some jolts here. Just felt an aftershock. John 10/16/19 3:01 AM Saying it's a 7 Emperor 10/16/19 3:01 AM Epicenter? John 10/16/19 3:01 AM Yucca valley Emperor 10/16/19 3:01 AM What was the epicenter? Emperor 10/16/19 3:02 AM OK, we're going to hang up and call my mother. John 10/16/19 3:06 AM is everything ok? Emperor 10/16/19 3:06 AM OK, hung up because my mother was only sixty miles as the crow flies from the epicenter. She's fine. We're about a hundred miles away. Emperor 10/16/19 3:07 AM Yes. If she hadn't answered the phone, I was going to get in the car and drive up to get her down here. John 10/16/19 3:07 AM Whew! I don't need this :) John 10/16/19 3:07 AM Yup! Emperor 10/16/19 3:08 AM John, I knew I wasn't right on top of it (we don't have any faults in this immediate area), but I knew it was a big one. Emperor 10/16/19 3:09 AM There's been some activity in that area tonight. They had a six near Joshua Tree. If you want to see about where it was, pull out your road atlas, turn to the Southern California page and look for Joshua Tree National Park. It's to the northwest of there that it hit. John 10/16/19 3:10 AM yeah i saw that Emperor 10/16/19 3:11 AM Mom lives in San Bernardino, on the other side of the mountains from there. So when I saw it was around Yucca Valley, I knew it was time to hang up and give her a call. John 10/16/19 3:11 AM 32 Miles N Emperor 10/16/19 3:12 AM That would put it roughly in the Marine Corps Base. There are some old volcanoes there. Active within the last two thousand years. John 10/16/19 3:13 AM That's not active. Are they exstinct or dorment? Emperor 10/16/19 3:13 AM Not sure. They are mining one of them for the cinders. Emperor 10/16/19 3:14 AM Yeah, that was a seven. Joshua Tree area has a lot of earthquakes. John 10/16/19 3:15 AM Extinct John 10/16/19 3:15 AM Cute. remind me never to go there :) Emperor 10/16/19 3:16 AM John, all I thought was "I don't think this is right under us, but....hurry up and stop for [expletive deleted] Christ's sake!" :) John 10/16/19 3:16 AM Scarey [expletive deleted]. Emperor 10/16/19 3:17 AM Only for a few seconds. Not like being in a city under enemy fire at all. :) John 10/16/19 3:18 AM Oh! so it ok then? Emperor 10/16/19 3:18 AM Now that it is over? Yep! John 10/16/19 3:19 AM :) Emperor 10/16/19 3:19 AM It's hard to explain. I guess it is like skidding on the highway. You have a few seconds of sheer terror and then you find yourself OK on the side of the road and you catch your breath and keep driving.