Ridgecrest Earthquake Swayed L.A. Skyscraper More Than 1 Foot in Each Direction

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A view of downtown Los Angeles is seen in an undated photo.(Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

A view of downtown Los Angeles is seen in an undated photo.(Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

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If you were sitting in the lobby of one particular downtown Los Angeles skyscraper when energy from the magnitude 7.1 Ridgecrest earthquake arrived, you might have felt a few seconds of light shaking.

But up on the 50th floor, the experience was terrifying. The building — equipped on each floor with seismic sensors — swayed back and forth for perhaps two to three minutes and as much as one foot in each direction, said Caltech research professor of civil engineering Monica Kohler.

On the 48th floor of another building in downtown Los Angeles, Beth M. Foley said she felt vertigo, and her husband motion sickness, after what seemed like minutes of swaying. Eventually, the building creaked and came to a stop. The couple said they plan to pack anti-nausea medications in their earthquake kit. “These things swayed like loblolly pines in a storm,” Foley said.

“That’s going to do a number on your brain,” Kohler said. “Seasickness is something you get when you’re in these high-rises.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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