Still shaken up

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  • San Francisco’s Marina district suffered in the wake of the ‘89 earthquake.

  • A sign on the Loma Prieta faultline marks the epicenter of the ‘89 quake.

  • Reporters flock to the scene of a crumbling building facade after the August 24 Napa Valley quake.

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A week and half after the violent 6.0 earthquake shook the Bay Area, it has left the students here at Skyline College in utter shock.

The Earthquake that struck last Sunday at 3:20 a.m. has left its mark on the Bay Area, but it left not only a mark in the sense of property damage, it has left an emotional mark on us as well.

“I’m a lot older now,” U.S. history professor, Mohammad Mustafa Popal said. “I experienced a lot more earthquakes – obviously in less magnitude – but you begin to realize what you can and can’t do and of the things you have to do is be calm.”

Popal experienced the recent earthquake last Sunday at home. Although this earthquake was undeniably violent, luckily his apartment complex wasn’t affected and avoided the infamous red tag. “I just put my trust in the structural design and integrity that the building’s people live in now that something catastrophic didn’t happen,” Popal said.

The recent earthquake also jogged our memory of the infamous earthquake of 1989 which also carried a violent magnitude.

“I remember it very vividly. It was the World Series, the Giants vs. the A’s, the Battle of the Bay and I was super excited because when I was younger I was a huge baseball fan of both Bay Area teams and so I was laying out in front of the TV trying to glean over my vocabulary homework and the game started and then all of a sudden as violent shaking,

“I have never been that scared in my life,” Popal said.

To many like Popal, this recent earthquake not only struck the Bay Area hard but it left us to remind ourselves this one in particular will never be forgotten. Also it triggers us to remember the traumatic 89’ earthquake and what it left behind.

Many people were sleeping during the earthquake. Skyline students Raul Magallon and Sergio Hurtado were at a friends house late night. They were all just calm and doing nothing out of the ordinary.

“I was just hanging out with my boys with a friend of mine we were talking about deep philosophical things about the world,” Magallon said. “All of a sudden the earth started shaking and it reminded me of the magnitude and the greatness and the power that is vested in the earth and all the things that are inside of it like the tectonic plate’s shifts and all of that.”

“It was a really deep experience for me. The first thing I did immediately was I made sure my family was alright. I didn’t bother looking at the media or anything because I never do. I never watch TV. The first thing that was brought to my attention was I was OK. I made sure my cousins are OK and I checked up on my whole family, my whole folks to see if they’re OK,” Hurtado said.

After the earthquake and checking on loved ones, Magallon and Hurtado resumed their activities. From these statements there is no dancing around the concern it has left us with fear not just for our safety, but also the safety of our loved ones.

What lies ahead in the future for the Peninsula as a whole? When is the next one going to strike? What should we do to prepare ourselves in the event of the next earthquake? As we ask ourselves all these questions it is beyond our control as we are only human beings.