This quake was different. Even people hardened by long experience on Southern California’s fault lines lost their cool indifference when the shaking began.
Some fainted. Others darted from their homes into the morning cold wearing nothing but underwear. Some sobbed openly, so jarred by the tremor and the barrage of aftershocks that they were beyond caring if strangers could see their tears.
And the worst of it, there was no end.
The quake was followed by a drumbeat of aftershocks, including a rattling 5-pointer. As the earth rippled and boomed day after day, as sleep ended in jangling jolts night after night, faces acquired a grim set.