20 Year Quake Anniversary Sparks Preparedness Planning

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Wed, September 18 2013 at 3:48 PM, Updated: Wed, September 18 2013 at 3:57 PM

Friday will mark the 20th anniversary of when a 6.0 earthquake hit Klamath Falls on September 20th, 1993.

Edith Mattingly had just gotten home from a shift at the hospital when the quake hit...

"I was laying in bed, to go back to do some overtime, and got knocked out of bed - I was on a waterbed."

The quake damaged the Klamath County Courthouse beyond repair, and caused major damage to several other buildings.

Sylvia Johnson was in a law library preparing for a murder case when the quake hit...

"I also got a call from the jail, and the inmates wanted to know if they were going to be taken out."

While the inmates were frightened, Klamath County Commissioner Jim Bellet recalls not being so scared...

"No, no.  Didn't bother me.  I thought it was kind of cool."  (laughs)

About 3 dozen people attended a 'Quake Prep' talk Tuesday night in Klamath Falls.

Althea Rizzo of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management says preparing for a quake is no different than getting ready for any other natural disaster...

"You make a plan, you talk with your family about what you're going to do, where you're going to meet, and how you're going to communicate with each other afterwards, if you can't get on your cell phone and call each other."

The '93 earthquake served as a reminder that earthquakes can hit most anytime, most anywhere...

And a little preparation now could save your life later on.

A 'Quake Prep' talk will be held in the City Council Chambers of the Medford City Hall this Friday afternoon at 3.

There will be another workshop in Grants Pass on the morning of Monday, the 23rd at 9:30 in the Anne Basker Auditorium.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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