The fossils danced

Southern California experienced a magnitude 5.4 earthquake today. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County was evacuated, but no major damages were reported, at least in the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology.

[my favorite Hyaenodon toy fell over during the earthquake]

The specimen cabinets in the Mesozoic Collection room were seen swaying in a north-south trending direction. The specimen racks on the back deck of the department also showed visible transverse movement.

[a pile of magazines fell from the desk in the collection manager's office]

The museum was closed for approximately one hour while staff checked for damages. It was a perfect chance to get the departments outside into the sunshine and have lunch together. The Department of Vertebrate Paleontology had ribs for lunch.

[A coffee mug drips day-old coffee on a work bench in the preparation laboratory]


Gary Takeuchi said...

The Los Angeles Fire Department is reporting no immediate damage reported within city limits, but buildings were swaying in downtown.

More information about Tuesday's earthquake.
The quake was centered 29 miles ESE of downtown Los Angeles. The epicenter was about 7.6 miles deep, making it a fairly shallow quake. In general, earthquakes centered closer to the surface produce stronger shaking and can cause more damage than those further underground. But most Southern California earthquakes tend to be fairly shallow.
More than 30 aftershocks have been recorded and the largest was a magnitude 3.6 according to the USGS.

Spencer said...

I was at work when this happened, and for some reason I instinctively dropped into a balancing position (a throwback to my tae kwon do training?). I actually had a fun ride (Jack, you knew I was wierd, but did you know I enjoy earthquakes?), but a few coworkers were less easy about it. One from Texas was not happy (I felt so bad for her!) and another was about to dive under a desk. Haha!!

Nothing at my house fell over, except two Civil War bullets that rolled off their shelf. No big deal to me.

By the way, what company made your Hyaenodon model? It looks like a nice one, reminds me of the kind of articles in Prehistoric Times.

Glad you're all okay!