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Central Coast residents feel impacts of California earthquakes

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Posted at 11:41 PM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-16 02:41:35-04

Shaking, rattling and sounding off - many people on the Central Coast took to social media Tuesday to share their experiences feeling the 4.7 earthquake that struck about 20 miles east of Salinas Tuesday afternoon.

One Facebook user writing she could feel her bed shake, another writing: "The big one is on its way."

But it's been on its way for quite some time according to Cal Poly Professor Robb Moss.

"We've got the San Andreas (Fault) over in the Carrizo Plain and the last time that ruptured was the Port Tehama event in 1856 and that one is forecasted to be overdue," Moss explained.

Moss says the large San Simeon quake in 2003 that killed two people changed a lot about the way buildings are retrofitted now across the state, because of the lawsuits that followed.

"The 2003 earthquake was our big event and it had a dramatic impact on how we deal with our poorly reinforced structures," Moss explained.

Moss says these events are very hard to predict and even if we did know when earthquakes were going to happen, he questions if it would change much in the way we prepare.

"So if we design our roads, bridges and our structures to withstand seismic forces and we prepare our own personal lives for the potential of an earthquake and having to shelter in place for up to 72 hours then we've done all we can and predictions wouldn't help much at all," said Moss.

Moss says one of the best ways to prepare is to make sure you have a way to contact friends and family if cell towers do go down.

"So if you're not able to get a hold of your spouse, you're not able to get a hold of your kids - what is your plan and how are you going to execute that plan knowing that the cell phone towers are going to be done for several hours and sometimes up to several days?," Moss said.

The earthquakes in the Bay Area are happening just days before the 30th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake that happened in the Bay Area in 1989, killing 63 people and causing $5.9 billion in damages.

Many local officials are using these earthquakes as a reminder for people to participate in the great shakeout event that takes place at 10:17 a.m. on Thursday.

At that time, you're encouraged to "Drop, cover and hold" for one minute, practicing what you would do in the case of a real earthquake.