Before I was CTJen, I was SoCalJen. While I was there, I was in dozens of earthquakes, but 2 quakes stand out in my mind. The first was the Sierra Madre quake for which I had a front row seat, having just moved to Sierra Madre to live my friend (and her parents) so I could attend Pasadena City College. This quake, while just a 5.6, was extremely violent. I remember it felt as though the floor dropped out beneath me. Thankfully, the shaking only lasted for a few seconds. It made a terrible mess though.
The second was the Northridge quake, a 6.7. Luckily we were far enough away from the epicenter of that quake to only feel it as a gentle rolling which lasted for what about 90 seconds or so. Where we lived (in Lancaster) we did not experience first hand any of the awful devastation which the valleys below us suffered greatly. Still, it was pretty scary for us since much of the infrastructure which connected the High Desert with the rest of Southern California was severely damaged.
Both of these earthquakes (well, all of the earthquakes I experienced while living in SoCal) were utterly terrifying and are among the many reasons I no longer live in Southern California, but they pale in comparison to the 8.9 quake which rocked Japan today. The devastation there is just breathtaking. I urge you, if you haven’t already, to go to Peacewinds America (or the aid organization of your choice) and give what you can.