July 29th, 2008
09:00 PM ET

Evening Buzz: California Earthquake

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/US/07/29/earthquake.ca/art.watermain.ktla.jpg caption="A broken water main spews water near Cal State University in Los Angeles after an earthquake Tuesday."]Maureen Miller
360° Writer

Tonight, Southern California is dealing with aftershocks after the largest earthquake to hit the region since 1994. Thankfully, the damage is minimal. This wasn't the so-called "big one". Yet, it still rattled a whole lot of buildings and people.  We're on the scene with a live report.

Also, a powerful republican U.S. senator has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

Senator Ted Stevens is accused of taking a quarter of million dollars in gifts from a powerful oil contractor, and it's executives and and lying about it to the feds. He says he's innocent of the charges and plans on proving it. We've got the latest on the investigation.

And, a show of democratic unity. This evening, Barack Obama met with some democrats on Capitol Hill. And, now his ties to them is being used against him on the campaign trail. CNN's Dana bash reports that republicans are actively trying to drag Obama down by linking him to less popular democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The strategy is a no-brainer. A recent poll shows 57 percent of Americans disapprove of the way democrats are running Congress. That's better than the 69 percent dissapproval rating for President Bush. Obama's campaign is using that reality to attack McCain. In a recent speech, Obama warned 15 times that McCain equals Bush. So, both sides are playing the political name assocation game. But do you the voter even care? Is it a fair game? We've got the raw politics.

All that and more tonight at 10 p.m. eastern.
Hope you'll join us.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • T1 • The Buzz
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Jon

    It just reaffirms my assertion that anyone smart enough to actually accomplish anything in government would never be dumb enough to actually put their hand up for the job.

    July 30, 2008 at 2:25 am |
  2. Courtney- Minnesota

    Hello everyone!
    The California earthquake reminds me of a movie they aired on NBC about 3 years ago called "10.5." Anyone watch that? In the movie, a huge chunk of California, due to a massive earthquake, became an island drifting off the mainland.
    In all likeliness, I believe that is exaggerating it a bit, but maybe all these severe weather events (floods in the midwest, tornadoes, earthquakes) might be pointing to something.
    Maybe it's just me... I might have been watching too many apocalyptic weather movies.
    (hint: The Day After Tomorrow...)

    July 30, 2008 at 2:14 am |
  3. Michelle, Spring Valley, CA

    Yeah, just a little bit here in San Diego County.

    I was six when I was in the Mexico City earthquake in 1985. An 8.1 that lasted several minutes, and a 7.5 aftershock a couple days later. And the devastation was... beyond words. I consider myself very lucky to have made it out.

    However, California has been my home now and I've come to terms with the fact no matter where you go, there's a risk of SOMETHING happening. I think the infrastructure in California needs to be fixed, and I'm really looking forward to that report. Years after the Mexico earthquake, which caused tremendous damage, the city rebuilt and there was an earthquake in the 7's. ONE person died as opposed to thousands. California and other areas that are prone to earthquakes need to learn from situations like that, and take care of their buildings, highways, and bridges, and alarm and communication systems and make a plan now, BEFORE the "big one" happens.

    July 30, 2008 at 1:44 am |
  4. Lynn Lindhurst

    I first moved to Santa Monica, CA in 1970 and enjoyed many small quakes, before the Sylmar Quake shook my apartment so violently that standing was difficult. I marveled at the power then jumped into my car and drove to work. My neighbors thought I was crazy because they saw the carport swaying several feet just minutes before. During the years, I experienced the major quakes in Southern California and rationalized that the lack of warning and brevity of earthquakes was less stressful than Hurricanes and Tornadoes. My wife was not so philosophical so we moved to Arizona in 1997.

    July 30, 2008 at 12:51 am |
  5. Caren, Los Angeles

    The people of SoCal discovered something a little disheartening today- that for about 2 hours after the quake, none of our phones worked. Not only was my cell phone not responding, but my work phone was dead too, and I work at a large film studio! That's sorta scary considering that this was a moderate quake. We're all wondering what happens when the Big One strikes! Nobody will be able to get through to anyone else. This quake wasn't bad at all, just long. Seemed like around 20 seconds or more.

    Also, it's really hard to stick to the "rules" when a quake strikes. Usually they tell you not to run outside, but in my case, all the buildings at our studio are around 80 years old, and the ceiling started to crumble, so how can you NOT run outside?! Everyone I know is ok, but we're just concerned about what happens in the future. This city may not be ready for the Big One. . .

    July 30, 2008 at 12:47 am |
  6. Jim S,

    Lets see,
    We Have A MajorHousingForeclosuresCrisis,Drought,Multiple Fires, We Had A flash flood/landslide that took out the Fish Hatchery 45 miles south of me a couple weeks ago,,Now a Moderate EarthQuake-
    I Think God is trying to tell the residents of California Something.

    July 30, 2008 at 12:02 am |
  7. Ray Cervantez

    I was on the fourth floor next to a window in downtown Los Angeles, I felt the a light jolt initially, I thought to myself be calm, and I waited for the shaking to cease....well it didn't readily stop ....a sharp jolt happened...and I flashed if this gets much stronger...this building is coming down...and I have no control over it ...I looked to my, left, and got out of my chair and heard some quiet pandomonium , "it's an earthquake", "stay away from the windows", our office filed down a stairway and out the building.

    July 30, 2008 at 12:01 am |
  8. Melissa, Los Angeles

    This was my first real earthquake experience (all the others were too minor to be felt) and yes it was a little nerve racking but there wasn't any damage done. I work on the 2nd floor in a 4 story building and the only damage was a painting falling off a wall. I just love how the media over dramatizes this earthquake. Oh and btw for those who immediately called their loved ones after the quake – don't. Emergency calls aren't able to go through when everyone's on their phones checking on each other. Imagine if this was the big one and you couldn't get through for an emergency?

    July 29, 2008 at 11:31 pm |
  9. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    I didn't even know we had an earthquake until I saw it on tv. I guess since I've lived in Calif all my life, eathquakes are just a jolt that happens and no one knows when or where it will hit. Betty Ann, a huge earthquake does cause the economy to feel it, let alone the deaths that we'd have to face, but I think most Californians would rebuild and carry on in a heartbeat.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    July 29, 2008 at 11:23 pm |
  10. William Courtland

    Your punished for not constructing internal habitat above the fertile plains you currently ocupy. Mountain ranges are malls. Stay out of the Great forest.

    July 29, 2008 at 11:19 pm |
  11. William Courtland

    Tubes of molten lava and the energy which moves it generated off Hawaii.

    Ever wonder what the Hymalaya's would look like the second time it got be hived?

    July 29, 2008 at 11:15 pm |
  12. William Courtland

    So removing the sierra madreas, and the other mountain ranges along the coast of california and built them between Hawaii, you would need a volcanic energy converter. This would finally move (generate slight) then subside the earthquakes.

    Your structures before this is even tried. Function

    July 29, 2008 at 11:00 pm |
  13. jackie Chino Hills, CA

    as nerve-wrecking as it can be i don't think i would want to move.

    July 29, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  14. jackie Chino Hills, CA

    what makes me sad is that some people don't understand natural occurrence. i was off today, but at my job (disneyland) people were asking for refunds. i understand that you're worried and concerned, but is that really our fault that there was an earthquake?

    July 29, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  15. John

    Senators like Ted Stevens who get caught doing what he did is truly reprehensible. There should be laws on the books similar to the John laws in prostitution where the participating donor is a s guilty as the receiver of the graft. Both should be jailed

    July 29, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  16. JC- Los Angeles

    I was on the 29th floor of my downtown LA office building when this one hit; although the building shook for about ten seconds, all seems fine.

    If nothing else, Californians have resilience; we tolerate fires, mudslides, earthquakes, people that want to act, actors that want to direct, directors that want to produce, people that buy homes with no money down, people who lose said homes, people who make tons of money off people with no money, a Governor who acts, an actor who can't govern and Democrats who run to the voting booth to elect a Republican Governor.

    Thankfully, we at least have good weather.

    July 29, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  17. Heather, Ca,US

    I was just out of the shower when I felt a small quake. That lasted about 5 secs no big deal.Then another one only this was big! I wasnt scared, I lived in Ca my whole life. Its just that you never know how bad it will get. What did upset me was that I couldnt make any outgoing calls on my cell or home phone. So I emailed my husband my dad and brother. I think earthquakes feel different depending upon where you live. It was seven miles deep so it spread pretty far. I think anyone living in a earthquake zone can agree we dont mind the small earthquakes its the really big ones that are scary.

    July 29, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  18. Julie San Diego, CA

    Just a minor jolt down here in San Diego.

    Beats a midwest tornado anyday.

    Miss Cleo predicts the New Madrid fault in the Midwest is going to get "The Big One"...they're due.

    The 1812 quake that occurred on this faultline was estimated at 8.0 and supposedly rung church bells in Boston. We do know that it was big enough to alter the course of the Mississippi River.

    I'll put up with a little rattling for our lovely California weather.

    July 29, 2008 at 9:49 pm |
  19. Annie Kate

    Glad California hasn't fallen into the sea with the earthquake. Between wildfires and earthquakes California just isn't getting many breaks this year.

    I don't really care who either candidate associated with in the Congress – they had to associate with someone since they are both Senators. I just keep wondering what happened to that "respectful and honorable" campaign that each candidate had said they would run. Neither campaign sounds respectful or honorable here lately.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    July 29, 2008 at 9:49 pm |
  20. Larry

    Bush is gone in 6 months; when will this democratic congress and house become accountable?

    July 29, 2008 at 9:35 pm |
  21. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hi Maureen,
    I was in San Francisco last week and there was a small tremor reported in Sonoma Valley.
    Is there really going to be a "big one" where California falls into the ocean? Or, will there be a long series of small ones throughout thousands of years which finally divides? Or, does anyone know?
    If there is a "big one" wouldn't that be a major disaster which would kill millions of people and put our country in an economic erergency which could possibly lead to the fall of the U.S.?
    We couldn't begin to handle katrina. I can't imagine a devestating earthquake which destroys California.
    Please inform!

    July 29, 2008 at 9:34 pm |
  22. Megan Dresslar

    I remember that time on May 2, 1996 and Feb 28th, 2001......... I had felt earthquake experience before. I never forgot how I felt look like sway or bump in my hometown....... I learned that my teacher told me to drill or practice to quick where to safe (earthquake) durning my old school......... Oh my gosh! I saw everything on the streets, shelves in the store, airport, buildings are everywhere already damaged....... people are so lucky alive in S. California........ I knew what we are going to drill and get ready for prepare when earthquake strikes......
    My hearts go to S. California people including Larry King too. I'm praying for them...........
    Megan D.
    Shoreline, Wa

    July 29, 2008 at 9:30 pm |
  23. Rose from Southern Calif

    I myself have lived in Southern Califorina for all my 51 years. This earthquake wasn't as big as the 1971 one at the time I lived in Pomona. 1994 moved my house that was built on cement. My things on the walls and selveswere ok but my son was small at the time and he was scared for a week after the earthquake. I now live in San Bernardino and I surely felt this one. I was putting my pants on and the floor started moving back and forth not good. So I went to the hallway door where it was safe but my cats were scared even before the earthquake hit like they knew something.

    July 29, 2008 at 9:26 pm |