Re: NANFA-- Earthquake

Jay DeLong (
Thu, 01 Mar 2001 12:08:40 -0800

At 11:31 PM 2/28/01 -0500, you wrote:
>Hi, Jay,
>Did the earthquake today, 2/28 do much damage in your area?
>Bruce Scott

When the quake hit I thought it was artillery practice at nearby Fort
Lewis. Then I realized what it was and grabbed a dog by the collar with
each hand and walked them across the floor which was moving back and forth,
and we went out the back door and sat in the yard until it stopped. I
don't know how long it lasted because my knees were still shaking after the
ground stopped shaking. When I came inside there were a few things on the
floor, pictures crooked, drawers open, and one of my aquarium covers and
light had fallen in the tank and the light was still on and was
illuminating the tank from within. Cool effect, but I didn't let it go on
too long :-) Fortunately no tanks fell over.

The epicenter was closer to Olympia than Seattle. Parts of downtown Olympia
sustained damage, generally the older buildings. A friend who manages the
old Elks Building as an apartment building told me the building could be
condemned from the structural damage. Laura and I went downtown this
evening and walked around and saw some of the damage. As we walked around
we could see the damage inside retail shops where their goods crashed to
the ground-- statuary, crafts, pottery, bookcases, glassware, etc-- and the
owners had just locked up their stores waiting for the insurance
inspectors. Several of the older building are "red-tagged", meaning no one
can go inside due to possible structural problems. Temporary fencing is up
all over, keeping pedestrians away from many buildings. I hear there was
an aftershock this morning, so perhaps the fencing prevented any further
injuries. If you've ever been in Olympia, there's a Washington Mutual
Savings on the corner of Capitol Blvd and 5th Ave, and it's an ornately
designed old building which was originally built as a bank. The upper
sections of that building on the 5th Ave side came crashing down. A block
away on the other side of 5th Ave is Skookum Bay Outfitters where we
recently bought our kayaks, and nearly the whole side of the building
facing the alley fell into the alley. Other buildings like the old
Olympian Hotel have cracks at ground level and bricks have fallen from
higher up. The Capitol dome has a crack and much damage inside. No one is
allowed inside. The same is true for the Governor's Mansion. All the time
this was happening I was safely sitting on the ground 8 miles away in
suburban Olympia.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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