20 Years Later Only The Mojave Knows

As the Beatles once said “It was twenty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play”, but in the Mojave Desert it was twenty years ago today Mother Nature had her way.  June 28th 2012 will be the 20th anniversary of the Landers earthquake.

The official version of this event states that:

At 04:57 local time on June 28, 1992, a large temblor awoke much of Southern California, this was a magnitude 7.3 earthquake that occurred near the town of Landers, California. The quake was the largest earthquake to have occurred in the contiguous United States in 40 years at that time.  It was in a rural area and as most of us know California building standards are among the most strict in the world, thus the damage and the loss of life in this earthquake was minimal when compared with others of similar size.  Still most people don’t know that two people died as the result of a heart attack and a three-year-old boy died when the home’s chimney collapsed into his living room, more than 400 people sustained injuries as a result of the earthquake.  It was later reported that the Landers earthquake triggered small quakes and changed the frequency of geyser eruptions in Yellowstone National Park.

My unofficial “LONG” first hand version of this event states that:

I woke out of a deep sleep in Joshua Tree California to hear crashing and shaking as if the house was being thrown about.  I knew that this was big but was it the big one?  I had recalled that just over a month before we had a 6.1 earthquake in the same area but this was much bigger.  The first radio reports said that the community of Landers just had a 7.6 earthquake but this number was later revised to 7.3 on the Richter Scale, thus many people are still confused as to the true magnitude of this event.  At this point number one on my list was to check the kids, they were shook up, almost immediately the aftershocks began and happened on and off for weeks as they slowly tapered off.  As we woke up that morning and absorbed what had just happened it was time to go out and explore the desert.  We saw alot of local damage but as we got to Yucca Valley we saw the east wall of the bowling alley laying on the ground and the local K-Mart was beyond repair.  The K-Mart building was eventually demolished and the bowling alley used this opportunity to expand and add more bowling lanes on the side of the building that had fallen, a league that bowls there now is called the 7.4 Shaker League.  News crews were everywhere filming every rip in the earth, these fractures were easy to find because the part of the earthquake fault that had ruptured ran parallel to State Highway 247 for several miles.  Shortly thereafter there was a 6.5 aftershock in Big Bear, we all thought, here we go again.  Soon enough as the rumbling died down we all got back to work.  Now, 20 years later it does not seem all that long ago but it was, my kids are grown, married and/or moved out.  Time moves on and it will be deja-vu all over again eventually, remember to be prepared if you live in an earthquake prone area because earthquakes never stop, they just sleep for a while but when the earth awakens, be prepared.  The residents of Yucca Valley were reminded of this with a 3.3 shaker a few nights ago.  I will spare the readers of this blog of the “REALLY LONG” first hand version of this event, I will save it for a campfire discussion but……

 My unofficial “SHORT” first hand version of this event states that:


Enjoy the pictures below, click on them for a larger version, af few of these were snapped by the author.

Take It Easy – Mojave