Hansen moved to California just in time for earthquakes
Marina Hansen moved to sunny Southern California last month.
Just in time for the Yuma native to experience last week’s earthquakes.
“I was just kind of shocked because I had just moved out here two weeks ago,” she said by phone on Monday.
The Yuma High School graduate earned her degree from the Colorado School of Mines in May. She then recently began her new job as a project engineer for Morley Builders in Santa Monica, a coastal town in the metropolitan Los Angeles area.
She currently is living inland about 30 miles in Whittier. It is about 150 miles south of Ridgecrest, where last week’s earthquakes were centered, but still definitely felt them.
The 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit on the Fourth of July, while Marina was hanging out at home.
“I was sitting on the couch and the walls looked like they were vibrating, and the chandalier was swinging back and forth,” she recalled. “I was confused at first because it took me awhile to figure out it was an earthquake.”
She noted that it lasted about 15 seconds, but everything in the home kept moving for a while after it was over.
The experienced locals were surprisingly calm after it occurred.
“We went outside and everyone was just walking around seeing if anyone was reacting, but no one (seemed upset),” Marina said.
Her sister Amber, also a YHS graduate, lives even closer to the where the earthquakes were centered, in the hills near Victorville which is 87 miles south of Ridgecrest. “They felt it even more there,” Marina said.
Then came the 7.1 earthquake last Friday evening, July 5. While even bigger than the first one, the quake luckily directed most of its energy in the sparsely populated areas of desert north of Los Angeles.
Marina said she did not feel that one at all as she was driving home at the time and was on a bridge on I-15. Everything was shaking in Amber’s house, however.
“Things were falling over at her house,” Marina said.
Amber called her quickly after it occurred.
Though Marina did not feel the second quake, she was physically effected.
“It gives me a headache every time (including the numerous aftershocks),” she said, likening it to getting motion sickness. “Even the one I didn’t feel, I had a headache before Amber even called me.”
Though the earthquakes have been disconcerting, and Amber has told her she expects another one, the infamous Southern California traffic has proven to be a bigger headache for Marina during her short time there.
It is 29 miles from her home in Whittier to her place of work in Santa Monica. It takes her one hour to get to work in the morning because she leaves early, she said, but the 29-mile drive home (roughly the same distance between Yuma and Wray) takes two to three hours. She said there are three different interstates or highways she can take, but the drive time is the same on any of them.
Despite the earthquakes and commutes, Marina said she is enjoying her move to California, particularly being closer to Amber and her family, allowing her to spend more time with her young niece.
However, not experiencing another earthquake would be fine by her.
“I kind of like it when the ground stays solid,” she said.