Disney & Knotts are the two closest major parks to the epicenter, about 12-15 miles away. I would suspect if either of these parks experienced damage of any kind it would be items falling off shelves. I doubt anyone on a ride didn't noticed the quake.
I'm in a high-rise about 40 miles west of the epicenter and we experienced about 10 seconds of moderate shaking followed by another 10-15 seconds of reverberate movement as the building settled back in place.
In other words, just another day here in sunny Los Angeles, lol ;)
Cue Elvis's "All Shook Up" for Moosh. Well, I'm sure those out on the left coast would only be freaked if it was about a 6.5 or above. If a minor Cali quake happened here in NH, people would be freaked out.
BTW, if anybody saw the news over the weekend or last week about the twister in NH, I wasn't affected. It did hapen about 10 mile east of me.
While not freaked-out it was a but unnerving at first, especially as we're long overdue for something much stronger.
I didn't start this thread to make a big deal of the quake but rather because whenever we have one the inevitable "are the parks OK?" posts start popping up. Given Disney & Knott's vicinity to the epicenter I'm not surprised they took the precautionary move to inspect rides but I'll be shocked if there is any damage, even minor.
If Psyclone or Flashback had been around and running, would anybody on the rides have noticed? Either that or the shaking might have counter-acted the roughness and they would have delivered amazingly smooth rides. ;)
*** Edited 7/29/2008 9:25:27 PM UTC by janfrederick***
This is probably a WAY too scientific question, but I was thinking it so....
What strength of a quake would it take to damage a coaster, especially a steel coaster? Are the coasters in hot zones for quakes built differently to better withstand the shaking? Could a quake damage the cars/wheels due to the coaster itself shaking extraordinarily? I mean, that would be a different type of stress than the cars are usually put under, so that different force could do some damage, right? I don't know anything about this stuff.
^^^Bunky, you bring up a good point. I know a little bit about it, but probably not much more than you. What I am about to say is based upon what little I know. If I'm wrong, please forgive me and correct me.
I think that any structure built in a quake-prone area (California, Japan, ect.) would have to meet or exceed the local building codes. After the Northridge quake, Cali just about overhauled their codes. I think that a wood or steel coaster would have to abide by appoximatly the same rules for it's equivialnt office or residential structure. Remember, wood will flex, so the forces MIGHT be similar to a ride in operation, just in a different plane.
As for the wheels and track, I think that there would be esstially no difference. Sure a few wheels might be replaced if they show odd wear, but that'd be about it.
Actually, I wonder if a coaster has ever been destroyed by a quake. I know there was a big one in Long Beach back in the 20's. I think by their very nature, coasters are way more quake resistant than other structures. They are designed to take a beating every day.
To expand what Hopman was saying in response to Bunky's question, one only need look at Ghostrider for an example of the extra work that is done to make the rides in California resistant to earthquakes. Ghostrider is a sea of wood beams that on most wooden coasters would be unnecessary. Just look up the ride on RCDB or any other coaster porn site and check out the first hill.