ashakeout stories John Clayton Kunz

John Clayton Kunz

The day of the great Loma Prieta earthquake, I had bicycled as usual to my office in Mountain View, which was located in a newly constructed building. Visiting with a colleague who had an office that was down a narrow hallway with bookshelves on the side.  I felt the shock, realized instantly that it was a big earthquake, and quickly decided that, while big, it was not a BIG one. The new steel-framed building shook and vibrated. My colleague and I quickly ran out of his office into the hall, which had no windows to break. The shaking was strong enough that I dropped to my hands and knees to avoid the risk of falling. The lights went out.

When the shaking stopped, I got my bike and headed home, about a 30 minute ride. All the street lights were out; neon signs were off; people on the street looked shocked. I got home and found my family outdoors at the end of our little street talking with neighbors, all in shock. I walked back to our house and looked around to identify any damage, and fortunately found none. As campers, we could get food from our refrigerator and cook on our camp stove. The power eventually came back on and we stayed in our home that night.