I should start by telling you where I live. I'm in San Luis Obispo, about a 30 minute drive from Cambria, CA which is 10 miles from the epicenter of Monday's 6.5 quake. My boyfriend, Jason, lives in Cambria.
Right now, it's 3pm on Tuesday, the day after the quake. This morning around 11 I felt a very strong aftershock, and found out from USGS that it was a 4.6. I spent the night in Cambria and was woken several times by 4.0+ aftershocks. We cleared a path from the bed to the back door incase a larger one came and we needed to get out. We filled our cars with gas.
To understand how we think of this earthquake on the Central Coast, you should know that we have not had any earthquake that a normal person could feel in more than 30 years. This is not an earthquake prone area, and many people do not have or have cancelled their earthquake insurance beacuse it is so unlikely. From my friends, coworkers, and aquaintances, here is the damage report:
Power was out for many people in the entire county, my apartment included, until 5:30pm last night. 40K customers were without power for some significant time yesterday. Most homes in San Luis Obispo had little to no damage. By little, I mean two wine glasses broke in every home, but many had no breakage at all--My apartment being one of them. I did notice pretty much everything on my walls was severely crooked, and most of my dishes were knocked over but nothing broke. Certainly the magnitude of damage varies dramatically with the soundness of the home. In Cambria, it's the same. Mostly broken dishes, but more than in San Luis Obispo. A little structural damage on older/less kept homes, but most homes were OK. The cats were freaked out even through the night. We've had more than 500 aftershocks, about 1/8th of which have been more than 3.0. They are still coming even today, Tuesday, 3pm. In Oceano, Arroyo Grande, Pismo beach people expirienced much the same-things being knocked over but very minor damage, mostly mental freak-out.
Paso Robles and Templeton/Atascadero were hit the hardest (ranching and winery areas; small cities/towns), for some reason. Paso perhaps because they have many historic buildings that have not been properly kept. Paso is where 3 people died, including a 19 year old woman who one of my friends is friends with. This is such a small area, even though it's over alot of land, that these things really reach deep in our community. Everyone knows someone who had a worse time.
My favorite french resturant in Paso is now rubble. I sit here wondering how my old work is -- I was a technician in the computer lab at the community college in Paso. My boyfriend's aquarium lost 2 inches of water and his anemones are so shocked they are near death. His clownfish don't know what to do with themselves.
Worst of all, this is all we'll hear about for the next 5 weeks.
also, it should be noted that doc had some outstanding coverage of the quake in his blog yesterday.