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August 07, 1979 - Image 6

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1979-08-07

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Northern California
shaken by strongest
quake in 13 years

California's strongest earthquake in 13
years rocked a 350-mile wedge of the
state in two sweeps of at least 10 secor-
ds each yesterday, toppling light poles,
knocking out power, and shaking
skyscrapers. There were no immediate
reports of serious injuries, and damage
apparently was minor.
The tremor, which registered 5.9 on
the Richter scale, hit at 10:06 a.m. PDT
and was the third quake in less than
four months to be felt throughout the
San Francisco Bay area.
"It knocked me right out of my
chair," said Jim Iverson, a California
Highway Patrol official in Salinas, 20
miles southwest of the temblor's recor-
ded epicenter. "At first it was a
buckling motion and then it felt like we
were rowing. I've never seen a hallway
twisting like that."
THE UNIVERSITY of California
Seismographic Station in Berkeley
measured the quake and plotted its
epicenter at 18 miles north of Hollister
on the Calaveras Fault.
The quake was felt well into Southern
California, with vibrations recorded as
far south as Encino, 15 miles north of
Los Angeles, said Nate Hutton, a
seismologist with the California In-
situte of Technology.
A May 7 quake, also located on the
Calaveras Fault about five miles west
of Mt. Hamilton, registered 4.9 on.
the Richter scale. Witnesses said dogs
barked for two hours before it struck.
THE AREA also was rocked April 27
by a quake registering 4.3 on the
Richter scale and centered near
Burlingame, a San Francisco suburb.
That one was along the San Andreas
Fault, the state's longest and most ac-

The Calaveras Fault is a major bran-
ch of the San Andreas Fault. It splits off
from the San Andreas Fault near
Hollister and runs northwest through
the expanding communities of Santa
Clara, Alamenda and Contra Costa.
The proximity of the two earlier
quakes was described at the time as
"pure coincidence" by Dr. Robert
Uhrhammer, chief seismologist at the
Berkeley campus.
throughout the San Francisco Bay
area, as far east as Sacramento and as
far south as Bakerfield and Arroyo
Grande, a coastal community 170 miles
south of here.
Most witnesses felt a rolling, pitching
motion like the deck of a ship in
moderate seas.
"It felt like the house was going to
shake apart," said Barry Breckling,
head ranger at the Henry W. Coe State
Park, a few miles north of the opicen-
ter. "We felt one that seemed to last for
more than 10 seconds."
A FELTON woman was taken to a
Santa Cruz County hospital with a
broken leg after she was knocked to the
floor of her home, authorities said. The
leg had just been removed from a cast a
week earlier for a similar break.
In Hollister, police reported bricks
falling from cornices. Six persons were
taken to hospitals, most with heart at-
tack symptoms. There were no other
immediate reports of injuries or
significant damage.
Hollister is a farming town of 8,000
residents nestled among mountains
about 80 miles south of here. It has
gained a reputation as the earthquake
capital of the state for its frequent

THE STRONGEST EARTHQUAKE ever recorded in northern California,
struck yesterday, shaking buildings, and scattering merchandise from such
places as the Mid-Town Market in Salinas, No one was hurt in the quake
which register5d 5.n the R,.hteral


Submerged oilfrom gulf
threatens Texas beaches
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP)- screens below the surface to trap the
Divers reported yesterday that tar submerged oil. The possible environ-
balls 2 inches thick from the world's mental effects of such an effort were
worst oil spill are clumped 40 feet below being researched, he said.
the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, National Oceanic and Atmospheric
raising new fears for the Texas shore Administration scientist John Robinson
when the slick hits today. said he has never seen oil move beneath
"Unfortunately, we do not have the the surface in large quantities.
capability to handle what may be But Robinson added there is more oil
coming below the surface," said Capt. spewing from the blown-out Mexican
Roger Madson, the Coast Guard officer well in the Bay of Campoche then in any
in charge of protecting sensitive inland previous spill. The well, about 500 miles
areas from the spill, south of Texas, has been gushing since
The northern edge of the crude oil June 3.
spill, which has been spurting into the "IT'S TRAVELED such great
Gulf since a Mexican oil well blew out distances. ,We've-never seen anything
two months ago, is expected to hit this big," he said. "No one has ever
Texas beaches starting today, officials dealt with submerged oil before. We're
say. working with as many ideas as we cn
GOVERNMENT SCIENTISTS say come up with."
the fine-grained sand of the coastal Robinson said thq divers found 75
beaches will be relatively easy to clean, particles of oil per cubic foot of water in
but National Fish and Wildlife officials the limited area they tested. The sub-
and volunteers were on alert to clean oil merged tar balls ranged in size from
from any of the abundant birds that three-eighths of an inch to 2 inches in
inhabit the area. diameter.
Madson said the primary goal of his "Whether or not we can come up with
defenses is to keep the oil out of the a viable solution remains to be seen,"
Brazos Santiago Pass-a 1,200-foot path Robinson said.
that leads to inland waters. Robinson said the submerged oil
The Coast Guard has placed 1,500 feet probably is not traveling as quickly as
of floating barricades, effective against the surface crude. Sunday flights over
floating oil in previous spills, across the the slick showed oil threatening
pass, but the barrier extends only 32 in- Mexican beaches eight miles below the
ches below the surface, mouth of they Rio Grande, which
MADSON SAID officials were con- separates Mexico from the United,
sidering stretching large nets or States.

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