Local

Congressional staffers evacuated because of quake

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Most of the Valley's Congressional representatives missed the earthquake because they're back in their districts on recess. But for their staff members in the capitol building, the quake turned out to be a frightening experience.

Congressman Jim Costa's Press Secretary, Andy Flick, said he was on a conference call with the Fresno office when things started to move. He said it felt like the shaking lasted about 15 minutes. "It started off small and then gradually grew to the point where my computer was shaking, my cubicle was shaking, and then pictures started falling off the wall," said Flick.

Though Californians may scoff at the earthquake's 5.8 magnitude size, Dr. Stephen Lewis at Fresno State said the quake is significant for the East Coast. There, quakes are rare and felt much further away from the epicenter. "The bedrock on the East Coast of North America is such that the seismic waves can propagate, travel long distances before they die down and they're not felt. So this earthquake was felt by a lot of people compared to how many would have felt in California for a similar sized earthquake," said Dr. Lewis.

Dr. Lewis said a similar size quake in California may have been felt as far away as 20 to 50 miles. On the East Coast, it was felt hundreds of miles away.

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Tags:
earthquake, local, amanda perez
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