Driving during an earthquake

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Atlanta, GA
Years ago was on a 2nd floor in a townhome in the East Bay when a small 3.7 hit and I can easily see how you would not notice that in a car. Just some slight side to side movement - imagine in a car you would just think it was some road imperfections. Earthquake in Cleveland though? There was one here in either Georgia or Tennessee in the past couple years which was highly unusual.
 
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D-FW, Texas
When I spoke to someone who was driving during the '89 Loma Prieta 6.9 bay area quake , he said everyone was pulling over thinking they had a flat. Makes sense since the waves would make it like you are driving on a wash board.
 
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On another site
In 2011, I lived 10 miles from the 5.8 epicenter Virginia earthquake. I was about 25 miles from home, so 35 miles from the quake. I was sitting in my Grand Cherokee at a gas station when it started....the SUV moved just a bit, probably about the amount it would move over a speed bump about 5-10mph. I didn't notice anything when I got out, but got back in to the rocking and rolling. I'd think that those in Cleveland didn't even notice, as their suspension absorbed the 4.0 motion.
Originally Posted by CR94
Vehicles are much better designed to withstand earthquakes than are most buildings.
Right up to the limits of their suspension. When you get something like the Anchorage quakes where pavement is thrust upward 10-15'(3-4.5m) then your car is going to take a hit.
 
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Virginia
That makes a lot of sense ^^^^ And those poor people on the double decker interstate 880.... Many of fatalities happened there when the top bridge collapsed upon the lower deck... Terrible.
 
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Virginia
Originally Posted by JLTD
In 2011, I lived 10 miles from the 5.8 epicenter Virginia earthquake. I was about 25 miles from home, so 35 miles from the quake. I was sitting in my Grand Cherokee at a gas station when it started....the SUV moved just a bit, probably about the amount it would move over a speed bump about 5-10mph. I didn't notice anything when I got out, but got back in to the rocking and rolling. I'd think that those in Cleveland didn't even notice, as their suspension absorbed the 4.0 motion.
Originally Posted by CR94
Vehicles are much better designed to withstand earthquakes than are most buildings.
Right up to the limits of their suspension. When you get something like the Anchorage quakes where pavement is thrust upward 10-15'(3-4.5m) then your car is going to take a hit.
True too ^^^ I was in my car a at Arby's drive through when it happened.. in Yorktown Va... I heard a buzzing... Thought my phone was going off... Well when I got to the third floor of the hospital it was a lot of talk about what had happened.... Dr. H was like holy cow... It was spooky. He was writing in a chart and everything moved... Scared him and everyone else pretty good.
 
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Virginia
The earthquake in Mineral in Louisa county was like you said rather strong for East of the Appalachian Mts... There was a 4.5 in 2003 I believe that was quite interesting... My dad said it sounded like a train coming through the woods towards his house in New Kent county... Also of note... The earthquake of Charleston SC was very strong... I think something like 6.3 to maybe 6.7 on the Richter scale... Damaged that city terribly.
 
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Originally Posted by WagonWheel
When I spoke to someone who was driving during the '89 Loma Prieta 6.9 bay area quake , he said everyone was pulling over thinking they had a flat. Makes sense since the waves would make it like you are driving on a wash board.
This is what I've heard as well. I have never been driving during a quake but have been through several including two 7 plus ones. You know it's big when you cannot stay on your feet.
 
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Virginia
Originally Posted by ecotourist
Originally Posted by Chris142
It takes a real big one to notice when driving. The little 3,4 and 5's likely won't be noticed.
That seems likely. We've slept through several.
Don't know... But a 3.7 hit literally within a 1/4 mile of my sister's house in Roanoke Va... At 330 in the am... I had just woken up thank goodness... And it sounded very,very loud... Like thunder and the whole house moved a decent bit.. I looked at my phone weather radar to see if there were any storms near by... Not one within 500 miles.. So, no to that. It woke everyone else up... I told my lady that it was likely a earthquake.. my brother in law and my sister were downstairs talking about what had happened. He decided to go out and see if a airliner had hit the small mountain they lived on... While he and I were out in the neighborhood we saw several other people out and about too... Wondering what had happened. Obviously no plane crash... The airport was not all too far away from their house. Once back at the house by they figured it had to have been a earthquake... Sure enough the next am I saw the earthquake on the monitor site for them...
 
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PA
Originally Posted by bbhero
Originally Posted by ecotourist
Originally Posted by Chris142
It takes a real big one to notice when driving. The little 3,4 and 5's likely won't be noticed.
That seems likely. We've slept through several.
Don't know... But a 3.7 hit literally within a 1/4 mile of my sister's house in Roanoke Va... At 330 in the am... I had just woken up thank goodness... And it sounded very,very loud... Like thunder and the whole house moved a decent bit.. I looked at my phone weather radar to see if there were any storms near by... Not one within 500 miles.. So, no to that. It woke everyone else up... I told my lady that it was likely a earthquake.. my brother in law and my sister were downstairs talking about what had happened. He decided to go out and see if a airliner had hit the small mountain they lived on... While he and I were out in the neighborhood we saw several other people out and about too... Wondering what had happened. Obviously no plane crash... The airport was not all too far away from their house. Once back at the house by they figured it had to have been a earthquake... Sure enough the next am I saw the earthquake on the monitor site for them...
When that happened in 2011 I thought a large diesel pulled up next to the house. Doors rattling in their frames. Went outside to see what was there, and nothing in sight. Finally realized it was a quake.
 
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Western S.C.
Originally Posted by JLTD
Originally Posted by CR94
Vehicles are much better designed to withstand earthquakes than are most buildings.
Right up to the limits of their suspension. When you get something like the Anchorage quakes where pavement is thrust upward 10-15'(3-4.5m) then your car is going to take a hit.
But you'd still be more likely to survive than in a building, I suspect. [/quote]
 
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ecotourist

Thread starter
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British Columbia, Canada
Originally Posted by bbhero
Originally Posted by ecotourist
Originally Posted by Chris142
It takes a real big one to notice when driving. The little 3,4 and 5's likely won't be noticed.
That seems likely. We've slept through several.
Don't know... But a 3.7 hit literally within a 1/4 mile of my sister's house in Roanoke Va... At 330 in the am... I had just woken up thank goodness... And it sounded very,very loud... Like thunder and the whole house moved a decent bit.. I looked at my phone weather radar to see if there were any storms near by... Not one within 500 miles.. So, no to that. It woke everyone else up... I told my lady that it was likely a earthquake.. my brother in law and my sister were downstairs talking about what had happened. He decided to go out and see if a airliner had hit the small mountain they lived on... While he and I were out in the neighborhood we saw several other people out and about too... Wondering what had happened. Obviously no plane crash... The airport was not all too far away from their house. Once back at the house by they figured it had to have been a earthquake... Sure enough the next am I saw the earthquake on the monitor site for them...
My understanding is there are 2 kinds of waves in an earthquake. The first is a compression wave, which travels the fastest. It produces the loud bang sometimes heard. The compression wave is followed by a series of transverse waves which travel a bit more slowly. They produces the side to side motions. The time lag between the arrival of the compression wave and the first transverse wave (combined with knowledge of the velocity of the waves) gives the distance to the epicentre. The time lag between the waves is the basis for early warning systems - useful if you're some distance away, but not so useful if you're right on top of the epicentre. One of the really smart things that's done is to open the doors of first responder's garages because the power may fail when the transverse waves arrive.
 
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Maryland USA
I was in Maryland close to the big 2011 earthquake. I had only been in one other quake, but it was in California. Almost nobody in Maryland knew what was going on- when it started it took me 2-3 seconds to figure out what was happening, and I bolted for the exit yelling "earthquake !! ". 98% of the staff at work thought I was crazy until their cell phones went berserk with emergency calls. I was really surprised how most people just froze because they could not grasp what was happening.
 
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Kansas
Outran a tornado on I-35 turnpike back in 2000s. Sunfire 2.2L w/ exhaust,header and intake at 100mph. First time felt mods were a good thing
 
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New Zealand
I was talking to someone who was driving during the big Christchurch 'quake - he said the car stated to go offline, so turned the wheel to correct it, and nothing happened. He went off road into the ditch.
 
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