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Earthquakes rocked SoCal but didn't rattle some Downtowners

By Rachel Garcia
Published: Wednesday, August 08, 2012, at 06:19PM
Rachel Garcia

Gary Conrad, who works on the 37th floor of a Downtown skyscraper, said he is more afraid of getting hit by a car than any possible dangers resulting from a big earthquake.

Tuesday night's 4.4 magnitude earthquake and the subsequent 4.5 quake, which shook parts of Southern California this morning, had epicenters in and around Yorba Linda and were felt as far away as the San Fernando Valley. Although the quakes also hit skyscraper-rich Downtown, a few employees in the area did not seem rattled by any possible danger.

The earthquakes were moderate compared to what California is capable of producing. However, how do Downtowners who work on the upper floors of some of the area's tallest buildings react when a quake hits?

James Boyajian, an attorney who works on the 24th floor of the KPMG building, described last night's earthquake as "a joke" and this morning's as "a wave."

"Any earthquake under magnitude 5 is better than coffee, it wakes you up," he said, laughing at the idea of being afraid of the tremors.

Apathy about earthquake dangers was the common reaction from the Downtowners whom Blogdowntown interviewed.

Gary Conrad, who works on the 37th floor of 707 Wilshire Boulevard and also lives in Downtown, said he did not feel a thing last night or this morning. He explained that his building's routine earthquake and fire drills help ease his fears about an imminent, "Big one."

"I'm more concerned about getting hit by one of these cars," he said, gesturing to the busy street.

Sara Malkani, who felt this morning's tremor from her ninth-floor office on 6th and Flower Streets, said her building has emergency protocols in the event of an earthquake -- get under a desk or table. She said she didn't put much thought into any emergencies that could have resulted from the quake.

"I don't really worry about big earthquakes because it's one of those things we have no control over," she said.


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