While I basically agree with Ed, I grew up in "Shake and Bake California", and during a time when several earthquakes took place. Attending a community college, taking a geology class, I recall locally an account of a "lateral, slip, dip fault movement" that so befuddled a rancher's cattle that they would never afterwards cross the fault (though lengthy, the drop was only several feet (and these were mountain ranging cattle), and the slip somewhat more).
And a few years later, while taking another geology class from the local state university, on the fifth floor of the new science building designed and spec-ced by another geology prof, we experienced a 5.7 earthquake during class...the prof went "hmmmm..." I believe that was an earthquake, but don't be alarmed, just dive under your table (very sturdy chemistry lab quality desks) for a minute of so, it would be foolhardy to go down the elevator, or stairs as there's usually an aftershock within the first thirty seconds.
Move ahead to the late '60s, when I went to Humboldt State University (very northwestern California), we were very aware of the impact of the 1964 Alaska earthquake. Now considered the second most powerful every recorded at 9.2 on today's standards, the following attachment rounds up some facts and figures:http://www.livescience.com/44412-1964-a ... facts.html
Perhaps not mentioned, was the tsumami it caused...it first hit the Alaska coast and in particular Valdez and Seward (both have memorable accounts), and some hours later, the north coast of California, at Crescent City (very northernmost corner of California), running rampant across the rather flat shallow shoreline there, washing cars inland, and destroying much of the town.
In 1992, near the small town of Landers in the southeastern desert of California, a 7.3 earthquake occurred less than 10 miles from the country residence of my parents. the paved county road leading into their place, shifted north and south horizontally 18', displacing the whole road (centerline matched up with the road's edge, post quake)
Best for last? In 1958, at Lituya Bay in Southeastern Alaska, a 7.3 earthquake occurred that loosened accumulating land mass (from lesser, prior earthquakes) that slid into the Bay with such force that the highwater lines are still visible more than 100 feet up both sides, as the tsunami raced out the narrow fjord. A Forest Service ranger happened to be out with his son fishing and records the story of riding that wave out, "looking down on the tops of hundred foot high trees..." Facts and figures and other accounts abound. Especially the "boulder" detailed in this account:http://www.wsspc.org/resources-reports/ ... y-tsunami/
What is it that they say? "Stranger things have happened!"