Hi, great thread- I feel sorry for you folks out there; I thought I'd add my two cents. I spent time in San Francisco in the late eighties going to
college, & ended up surviving the Loma Prieta quake in October 1989; a 7.1 on the Richter scale. Here's what happened:
For a month, every day almost, at the rate of two or three a day, there were over a hundred little quakes of say, 1.2- 2.8 on the Richter scale,
before the big quake hit. These small quakes couldn't really be felt by most people- only read seismographically. Animals, on the other hand, knew
something was wrong immediately. Flocks of ravens were flying all over the place; nocturnal animals like opossums were walking about in the light of
day; horses were running in circles and kicking out madly with their back legs, and pets were frightened and in hiding, refusing to go out of doors.
All of the animal behaviour occurred in the two or three days before the big quake.
I was in a store as the quake hit. I grabbed the counter I was standing next to as two big rolling shocks hit, one after another. The lights went out
& shelves in the store were shaking back & forth, spilling everything onto the floor. I ran out into the parking lot & away from the building, which
is the safest thing to do- it's best to be outside in an open place if one can make it, to avoid being trapped inside.
The aftermath: A piece of the Oakland bay bridge upper deck collapsed, the Oakland freeway upper deck pancaked onto the lower one, killing and/or
trapping many people in their cars; in San Francisco, houses broke loose from their foundations and slid over into the street, and huge glass windows
shook loose from the highrise buildings downtown & fell into the streets. There was no phone or electric service for several days. People cooked up
their food on barbeques & shared it out so that it wouldn't go to waste in the refrigerator. The weather was normal for the area- in the 70's &
80's, no rain.
Not to get anyone panicked- but if you check at the US Geological Survey site for the last month you'll see that Arkansas & surrounding areas have
been having the same buildup of little quakes each day as in the Loma Prieta quake. Quakes disturb things in the Earth a great deal, including
fluctuations in magnetic fields- that's what gets animals, especially birds, all upset- they can feel it. Birds navigate by feeling magnetic fields
with a part of their brain, which is how they know where they're going at all times, especially during migration.
Take care out there- quakes are unpredictable; I pray things will be all right!