Everyone by now is well aware of the 5.4-on-the-ritcher-scale that Los Angeles experienced on July 29th 2008. Well it was a wake up call for us LA residents. Thank God everyone is safe and sound. No injuries or major damage to property have been reported.
OK, lets give credit to the county here - Chino Hills, which was the epicenter of the quake was quite well equipped to handle such a shake. Most structures in Chino Hills are 1 thru 3 levels high (no skyscrapers) and also like most other buildings in California are earthquake resistant.
This incident also made me ponder over the fact that we are really under-prepared to handle the big one, should it arrive. Man made structures can be made resistant to minimize damage during calamities. However its nature who makes the final call!
The same night at 12:40 am (30th July in India) there was an earthquake of magnitude 4.2 in Pune, Maharashtra, India, which is my hometown. Again everyone was safe and sound. Many around Pune and Satara also experienced it. Its worthy to note that the low magnitude proved a savior. Had it been 5.4 like the LA earthquake, it could have resulted in a catastrophe. The structures in Pune are not built to withstand earthquakes. Moreover the dense population of Pune would have made recovery very chaotic. Its time that the Indian government intervenes and sets standards for the safety of its people. Better safe than sorry!