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“Glass was flying”: NorCal businesses clean up after 5.5-magnitude earthquake

<i>KOVR</i><br/>The bottles of liquor that fell on the floor at Peninsula Market on Thursday after the quake in Plumas County.
The bottles of liquor that fell on the floor at Peninsula Market on Thursday after the quake in Plumas County.

By Tori Apodaca

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    PLUMAS COUNTY, California (KOVR) — A moderate earthquake rocked Northern California Thursday afternoon, causing some businesses to close down for the night due to the damage.

CBS13 spoke with the Plumas Pines Resort that’s near Lake Almanor about the quake that broke glass, dishes and liquor bottles.

“I was standing on the deck when the earthquake hit talking to a customer and it felt like the deck gave way underneath me twice,” said Stephanie Hughes, who works front of house at the resort.

They shut down the resort for the night because of the damage.

“Customers were fleeing onto the grass, and staff was fleeing out in front,” said Hughes.

Alexandra Platanitis was at the bar working on the schedule when she felt everything start moving.

“It kind of at first felt like someone was just jumping upstairs in our storage rooms up there, and then our entire bar started shaking and glass was flying,” said Platanitis.

Seismic Hazards Branch Chief Jose Lara with the California Office of Emergency Services said he knew the shaker was coming just moments before thanks to a notification from the “MyShake” app.

“Today’s earthquake is a reminder that we do live in earthquake country,” said Lara.

He said the app uses an array of seismic stations to determine when a quake will hit.

“We are able to very precisely know when an actual earthquake strikes and specifically where the epicenter is,” Lara said.

These early warning systems for earthquakes are already being integrated into buildings, hospitals, trains, and even elevators.

“It stops the elevator at the nearest floor or returns it to the ground floor,” Lara said.

Dan Adams lives in Nevada City, nearly 160 miles from the epicenter, but he still felt it.

“I have been in plenty [of] earthquakes and I thought, this sounds like a small earthquake. It picked up from there,” said Adams. “There were two distinct jolts, but in between those two jolts there was some rolling and shaking and as it intensified.

“I figured, I better get out of here.”

The last time Plumas County got rocked by a quake was a 5.7-magnitude one on May 23, 2013.

“I experienced the one 10 years ago at my house, but it was nothing like this one,” said Hughes.

The good news is that there have not been any reports of major damage or injuries, but still many Plumas County businesses spent Thursday evening cleaning up.

“I am still a little shaky,” said Hughes. “It is mainly our kitchen crew that we are worried about because a lot of broken dishes, so we are going to reassess tomorrow and hopefully be open by tomorrow afternoon.”

CBS13 spoke with several other businesses in Plumas County that had similar stories of items flying off shelves and some broken glass, but nothing too damaging.

CalOES wants to remind people that in addition to downloading the MyShake app, to remember the basics: Drop, cover, and hold on. They want people to be prepared for the next big one.

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