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As many of you already know, California earthquakes are rarely deadly; construction standards have been so successful that only the strongest earthquakes cause much damage at all. Unfortunately, throughout Central California there are a number of picturesque older communities that have structures that were built well before the newer standards (mostly implemented after the devastating 1933 Long Beach earthquake) were put into place. One of the most quaint of these is Paso Robles, a small town where my mother lived for a short period of time, and where she still has friends, and a community where at least two people have died from yesterday's quake:
A deadly magnitude 6.5 earthquake shuddered through California's Central Coast on Monday morning, crumpling a historic building here and killing two people.
The temblor — the strongest in the region's modern history — smashed shop windows, set off house fires and interrupted power service through parts of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. Its ripples moved across the state, giving Los Angeles and San Francisco a series of gentle, rolling shakes.
Having spent a little bit of time in Paso Robles, I can tell you that you'd be hard-pressed to find a nicer, friendlier community in all of California. Before yesterday, Paso Robles had slowly been building a reputation for excellent Central Valley wines; in fact, Professor Bainbridge had been extolling some Robert Hall varieties on Hugh Hewitt's show a few nights ago. The region is primarily agricultural, and its "downtown" reminds you of Back to the Future's 1955 version of Hill Valley, but more relaxed, and more effortlessly genuine. It's the one community where I would choose to live in California if I had an independent income and wanted to move back there.
It's a terrible shame that such a beautiful town with lovely old architecture, if unfortunately not earthquake ready, has suffered such a blow. I have not yet heard from my mother if her friends in the area are safe, but I'll be praying for them today, and I hope you all will be as well.Sphere It View blog reactions
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